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Whoso List to Hunt Summary & Analysis
by Sir Thomas Wyatt

“Whoso List to Hunt” is a Petrarchan sonnet written by Sir Thomas Wyatt. It is partially a translation and partially an imitation of Francesco Petrarch’s Sonnet 190. It was likely written in the 1530s or 1540s, making it one of the first sonnets written in English. It is thus an important precursor to some of the most significant poems in the history of English literature, including Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Like those poems, “Whoso List to Hunt” is about love; its speaker describes love as a desperate and violent pursuit, in which a man attempts to hunt down the woman he loves. This pursuit has failed, so the speaker spends the poem explaining why he is giving up the hunt.

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