What is the dramatic situation in Petrarch's Sonnet 333 (copied below)? What has happened to Laura and the poet?

Petrarch's Sonnet 333 (translated by Morris Bishop)   Go, grieving rimes of mine, to that hard stone Whereunder lies my darling, lies my dear, And cry to her to speak from heaven's sphere. Her mortal part with grass is overgrown.   Tell her, I'm sick of living; that I'm blown By winds of grief from the course I ought to steer, That praise of her is all my purpose here And all my business; that of her alone   Do I go telling, that how she lived and died And lives again in immortality, All men may know, and love my Laura's grace.   Oh, may she deign to stand at my bedside When I come to die; and may she call to me And draw me to her in the blessèd place!

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In this poem, Petrarch is directly addressing his personified "grieving rimes," instructing them to travel to the "hard stone" beneath which his beloved Laura lies. Laura, we may therefore infer, has died, and Petrarch is eager for the sentiments he expresses in his verse to somehow reach her through the...

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In this poem, Petrarch is directly addressing his personified "grieving rimes," instructing them to travel to the "hard stone" beneath which his beloved Laura lies. Laura, we may therefore infer, has died, and Petrarch is eager for the sentiments he expresses in his verse to somehow reach her through the ground.

The speaker declares that he is "sick of living" without her. Bereft of his beloved, he is filled with grief and can find purpose only in writing rhymes in praise of her. He hopes that, in doing so, he will be able to secure some kind of immortality for her by making sure that others know how filled with "grace" he was.

Finally, the speaker hopes that, when he dies, Laura will come to his bedside and lead him to heaven.

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Laura has died, and the poet is stricken with grief. The phrase "with grass is overgrown" tells us that she has been dead for some time, but the poet's heart-wrenching grief lives on.

The poet tells us that he is "sick of living" and that he wants his love, Laura, to "draw" him to her "in the blessed place," meaning heaven. This tells us that he has no desire to live on without her. The "hard stone" referred to in the first line of the sonnet is Laura's tombstone, and the mood of the poem is one of sadness and grief.

The "rimes" that Petrarch refers to in line one are his rhymes, or his poems. The first three lines tell us that he wishes that Laura could hear his words of love.

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In this sonnet, the poet is filled with grief because his beloved Laura has died. He misses her terribly as he contemplates her grave, and with his verse he cries out his wish that she "speak from heaven's sphere."

In the second stanza, he states that he is so grief stricken he is sick of living. All his thoughts revolve around her, and in the third stanza he speaks of immortalizing her by telling people about her, though, in fact, the sonnet generalizes her as the ideal love: we get no specific facts or details about her. In the final stanza, the poet expresses his deep longing to meet with her after his own death:

When I come to die; and may she call to me
And draw me to her in the blessèd place!

As the poem conveys, the death of a loved one can be overwhelming and come to dominate the life and thoughts of the person left behind. The poet misses Laura so profoundly that he can't stop thinking about her; life seems empty without her. Behind this lies the deeper human situation: why do people die? The poem also conveys the poet's strong sense that death is not the end, but that those who love are reunited in the afterlife. 

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Here Petrarch’s beloved Laura has died; Petrarch is standing over her grave (“Her mortal part with grass is overgrown”).  Petrarch is asking that his poems (“grieving rimes of mine”) soar up to her in heaven, which are the sole purpose of his life now, That all men may know her worth, reflected in his words; he then asks that she be at his bedside when he dies, to be drawn to her in heaven.  The poem sums up their relationship – spiritual, immortal, a poet’s muse and at the same time the entire subject of his work; his fame in history pivots on this relationship,  an ideal one that represents all loves on the immortal plane. Petrarch saw his "Laura" in church, and probably never even actually met her -- theirs is a symbol of the non-physical aspect of love.

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