Petrarch Unrequited Love In Ovid's

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In Canzoniere #23, Petrarch uses the classic tale of Ovid's, “Apollo and Daphne,” to symbolize his helplessness to Laura. Apollo was shot with an arrow, by Cupid, to find love at first sight, which created a chase after Daphne, the woman hit with an arrow to hate the person she first saw. The chase becomes to be known as a symbolization of unrequited love. Petrarch signifies his own life by reversing the gender roles and becoming Daphnne instead of Apollo. He changes the roles to express his vulnerability to Laura. Petrarch becomes inferior to Laura because of the overwhelming power she has over him. Apollo and Petrarch both deal with an unrequited love through rejections by the ones they “love”, causing an imprisonment and losing a sense…show more content…
Petrarch continuously metamorphosis in the canzoniere, which suggests he transforms only to what Laura will accept. However, it is never enough and causes Petrarch to feel grief of losing a sense of himself because due to constant change for her, he does not know who he is anymore: “Alas, what am I? What was I?” (30). Petrarch never seemed to want love, yet “he holds such a powerful love in his heart” (Mmkelley) for someone to not love him in return. He was Daphne, who rejected lovers, not for chastity, but because it was of no importance to him. So, when Laura designs a way to control his life, he loses a sense of himself. It justifies him to feel helpless and stuck like a tree, like Daphne as the laurel, because he had no other choice but to change and it caused an eternity of grief to be held as a treasure, a symbol of victory to someone else. Not once did Petrarch change on his own will, only to Laura's benefit, producing a psychological paradox of wanting to change, but never changing. Laura degraded Petrarch by deconstructing him into someone he did not know, building the insecurity and helplessness that molded him to assemble poems to feel a sense of…show more content…
It produced confliction within himself because she corrupted him. Petrarch incorporates Daphne personally because he is the victim. Daphne lost herself because of Apollo and even metamorphosing into a laurel tree still entrapped and dehumanized her. Similarly, Apollo is doomed to “love” Daphne forever due to Cupid’s arrow, which demolishes his free will and imprisons him to Love. Petrarch lives his life with the remembrance of the emotional scars that Laura purposely puts on him. Laura destroyed him as a person by never returning the love he was giving to her. Her destruction produces Petrarch to always love her, even if she will never love him back. It is the worst punishment Love fabricated because Petrarch cannot change as a person if there is something holding him from transforming. Petrarch never truly metamorphosis because he is holding onto the past; his past love, his past self, and it is restricting him to move on with his life, which ultimately leads him to stay as a symbol of unrequited love and
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