How Gaspara Stampa Challenged Classical Tradition and Conventional Notions of Women’s Anger

In: Emotions: History, Culture, Society


The collection of Rime by the Italian sonneteer Gaspara Stampa (1523–1554) has often been compared in style and format to the Canzoniere of Petrarch. Such analysis places emphasis on Petrarch instead of Stampa, and limits discussion of her work to its relation with the literary tradition he established. Interpretation of the work of Stampa and other female authors requires a new perspective, recognising that they sought to create for themselves a literary safe space in which to convey deeply held emotional states – especially anger – and in the process to reclaim the voices and emotions of women from the male literary traditions in which they had been ensnared.