Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Silvia R. Fiore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Giovanna Benadusi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sara M. Deats, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Patrizia La Trecchia, Ph.D.


Renaissance, Women, Petrarch, Bloom, Autobiography


This study maintains that although Gaspara Stampa's Rime (1554) appears to straddle two popular literary genres-lyric poetry and autobiography-analysis of the Rime within its cultural context demonstrates that while Stampa (1523-1553) used Petrarchan conventions, she also both borrowed and swerved from Giovanni Boccaccio's Elegy of Lady Fiammetta (1334-1337) to imagine a non-Petrarchan narrative of an abandoned woman. In the Renaissance, lyric poetry and autobiography were distinguished not only by their style-prose vs. verse-but, more importantly, by the treatment of their distinctive subject matter. Lyric poetry focused on those emotions involving love, whereas Renaissance autobiography shunned emotions. A comparative analysis of the Rime with the Elegy concludes that the Rime is not a lyric version of Boccaccio's Elegy; however, a consideration of Harold Bloom's "anxiety of influence" demonstrates that although Stampa borrowed the Boccaccian idea of the woman as narrator to tell the story of love and abandonment, she creatively adapted-or, to use Bloom's term, swerved from-Boccaccio's presentation of the abandoned narrator's psychological pain. Instead, Stampa depicts the frustrations and the pain of the narrator whose love is unrequited although her beloved remains nearby.