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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In the transit from Petrarch to the Petrarchan adaptations of Thomas Wyatt we see the birth of a rhetorical proposition that will come to be of considerable importance for English-language poetry in the 16th century and beyond. Experimenting with poetic voice as a symptom of character. Wyatt conjures the figment of an individuated speaking persona, one who is biased, irritable, and rhetorically unstable. Shakespeare will confer upon this project an emotional capaciousness that alters it forever, but the commitment to a radical instability of voice began with Wyatt.

Keywords: Petrarch, Wyatt, Shakespeare, sonnets, lyric persona, dramatic voice, poetic voice, rhetoric, provisionality

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