illustrated portrait of Anne Boleyn, the subject of Wyatt's poem

Whoso List to Hunt

by Sir Thomas Wyatt

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Student Question

Is "Whoso List to Hunt" a Renaissance poem? Why?

Expert Answers

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Yes, it is.

It is a renaissance poem for several reasons. The most basic is when it was written; the author was part of the English Renaissance. Almost as basic, but a bit more substantial a reason, the poem is thought to be an imitation of a sonnet by Petrarch, who was a major writer from the Italian Renaissance. This means it is renaissance in both origin and form.

You could also argue that the Latin section asserting Caesar's authority indicates a rise of secular authority over spiritual, which was part of the renaissance.

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