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Sonnets

This is an introduction lesson to sonnets. Covered: the structure and rhyme scheme Spenserian , Shakespearean, and Petrarchan sonnets.
by

Richard Cook

on 11 March 2013

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Transcript of Sonnets

Sonnets 14 LINES
IAMBIC PENTAMETER
A PARTICULAR STRUCTURE AND RHYME SCHEME 3 quatrains, 1 couplet
abab bcbc cdcd ee intense idealized Spenserian sonnet amorous courtly love (interlocking rhyme scheme) Octave 8 line segment + Sestet 6 line segment = 14 lines + Quatrain 4 line segment Couplet 2 line segment = 14 lines 3 3 quatrains, 1 couplet
abab cdcd efef gg woman's great beauty, coldness & disdain Shakespearean sonnet immortality of poetry suffering poet-lover 1 octave, 1 sestet
abbaabba cdcdcd or cdecde love... unrequited, tragic, desperate,
eternal Laura Petrarchan/Italian sonnet Octave (1st Eight Lines):
tell a story
introduce a situation or problem
raises a question Sestet (last 6 lines):
comment on the story, situation/problem
answer the question 1st quatrain:
introduces a situation/problem
asks a question 2nd & 3rd quatrains:
explore the situation/problem
ponder the question Couplet:
concludes the situation/problem
answers the question time death change Let me not to the marriage of true minds (a)
Admit impediments, love is not love (b)*
Which alters when it alteration finds, (a)
Or bends with the remover to remove. (b)*
O no, it is an ever fixéd mark (c)**
That looks on tempests and is never shaken; (d)***
It is the star to every wand'ring bark, (c)**
Whose worth's unknown although his height be taken. (d)***
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks (e)
Within his bending sickle's compass come, (f)*
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, (e)
But bears it out even to the edge of doom: (f)*
If this be error and upon me proved, (g)*
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings. Sonnet 116 Sonnet 29 When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth,
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed:
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O! love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love, loves not to have years told:
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flattered be. Sonnet 138 Iambic Pentameter Iamb = unstressed syllable followed by stressed
"annoy" "fulfill" "pretend"
Pentameter = 5 iambs = 10 syllables
Can be created with the end of one word and the beginning of another
.But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
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