In this writing, Petrarch is addressing Laura, a young woman whom he felt in love with despite the fact that the lady was already married. He draws the reader into his pained existence of realizing that Laura is married and that she was not willing to have a relationship with him. Petrarch uses a metaphor to describe his state of shame; this is evident in line 10 when he says ‘I have become an old tale amongst all these people’. This clearly shows how shameful he become when he realized that Laura marriage would not allow her to form a relationship with another man. The theme of this sonnet revolves around the pains and shame of falling in love with a married woman who is adamant to reciprocate the love.
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An insight that we can gain from this reading is that falling in love with a married person is like committing emotional suicide. I believe that love should be guided with reason and not just emotional upsurge. Love at first sight may very deceiving and detrimental. After Petrarch learnt that Laura was married, he had to nurse the pains of the reality that Laura would not be in a relationship with him even in the near future. Petrarch full recognition that he cannot reverse things and have Laura makes him ashamed of himself. He therefore seeks for forgiveness for having vain hope that he would secure a relationship with Laura despite her being married.
The story above is very common in our society today. We are reminded that love at first sight is deception and can lead to shame. We have occasionally witnessed people being beaten up for seducing other people’s wives. We do not need to go through such emotional pains. The truth about each other is very important before falling love. The sonnet by Petrarch is a clear show that there are things that one cannot hope for and get.
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