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Petrarchs Quest for True Love and Spiritual Fulfillment The poems contained within The Canzoniere are spellbinding tales of love The object of this love is Laura the ideal woman according to the author Francesco Petrarch Petrarch expresses his desire for true love and spiritual fulfillment through his yearnings for Laura In Petrarchs opinion Laura exemplifies perfection Her every mannerism evokes feelings of passion and love in his heart and mind He admires her sweet presence and her soft lovely glance Petrarch 37 At first Petrarch seeks physical consummation with Laura This profane love is hampered by Lauras unwillingness to fall for Petrarch and is eventually purified by her virtue By the end of The Canzoniere Petrarchs love of the ideal Laura is transformed to the love of God Consequently Petrarchs spiritual ideologies expand and dilate in ways he previously conceived unthinkable This transformation takes place as a result of Petrarchs newfound willingness to go through the fires of purification in order to spend eternity with his beloved Laura In short Petrarch reaches a new more fulfilling understanding of God But for the first half and part of the second half of The Canzoniere Petrarch loves Laura and Laura alone Indeed she proves herself worthy of his love After all her beauty mirrors the beauty of life and in Petrarchs opinion worldly glory ranks as one of mans loftiest goals And in the poetic landscape that Petrarch creates Laura reigns as the queen Prior to Lauras death Petrarch was simply unable to free himself of the splendid abyss Bernardo 67 in which he had become trapped due to his love of Laura However this predicament served not to dampen Petrarchs desires for Laura but to increase their strength His fascination with Laura swells The sight of her was so sweetly austerethat I left all my work to follow her Petrarch 57 Petrarchs love for Laura has been described as contemplative Bernardo 108 Indeed Petrarch devotes
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