The Depiction of Lovesickness in Renaissance and Modern Poetry. A Long Journey of Lovesickness from Diagnosis to Metaphor


Term Paper, 2024

19 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Abstract or Introduction

This term paper is devoted to the depiction of lovesickness in Renaissance and modern poetry. Once commonly perceived as a serious medical condition, lovesickness transformed into a widely used fruitful metaphor in poetry and song lyrics.

The Renaissance doctors viewed erotic passion as an unwanted condition with a range of symptoms, certain pattern of development, and suitable ways of treatment. This can be stated with certainty by virtue of a wide number of specialised texts focused on the subject that were written at that time. Among them, in particular, there is "Treatise on Lovesickness" (quoted as T.L.) by a French physician Jacques Ferrand — in the first part of the theory chapter titled “Renaissance Physicians Warn”, the most relevant key points of this work would be provided. Similar findings from other medical works of the time will also be briefly mentioned.

Apart from scientific texts concerned with lovesickness, a clinical approach to love and its manifestation in the ‘patient’s’ body can be registered in Renaissance drama and poetry. William Shakespeare’s most famous texts, such as "Romeo and Juliet", "Othello", as well as his love sonnets, are evidence to that. The second part of the theory chapter titled “Renaissance Lovers Suffer” introduces the analysis of such instances in Shakespeare’s and Sir Philip Sydney’s works. The symptoms of lovesickness found in their texts will be explored in comparison with the medical description given by Ferrand.

Today, the scientific community does not identify romantic passion as a disease any longer. However, we widely and often unconsciously conceptualise love as such. For poets, it opens a richest source of metaphoric language. ‘Love is sickness’ rapidly became one of the most common metaphors in love poetry, allowing for endless artistic solutions, but at the same time engendering the risk of repetitiveness and the effect of ‘familiarisation’, in Viktor Shklovsky’s terms.

Details

Title
The Depiction of Lovesickness in Renaissance and Modern Poetry. A Long Journey of Lovesickness from Diagnosis to Metaphor
College
http://www.uni-jena.de/  (Anglistik und Amerikanistik)
Course
Science and Literature: The History of an Uneasy Relationship
Grade
1,7
Author
Year
2024
Pages
19
Catalog Number
V1477221
ISBN (eBook)
9783389025864
ISBN (Book)
9783389025871
Language
English
Keywords
Science, Love-sickness, Shakespeare, Renaissance, Song Poetry, Metaphor, Romanticism
Quote paper
Aleksandra Dediukina (Author), 2024, The Depiction of Lovesickness in Renaissance and Modern Poetry. A Long Journey of Lovesickness from Diagnosis to Metaphor, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1477221

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