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Sonnets!

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by

Sara Johnson

on 13 November 2014

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Transcript of Sonnets!

Sonnets!
Example
Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour: - A
England hath need of thee: she is a fen - B
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, - B
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower, - A
Have forfeited their ancient English dower - A
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; - B
Oh! raise us up, return to us again; - B
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power. - A

Octave - Introduces the theme or problem

Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart; - C
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea: - D
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free, - D
So didst thou travel on life's common way , - E
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart - C
The lowliest duties on herself did lay. - E

Sestet - Solves the problem
Example
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:

Quatrain 1: Presents situation

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:

Quatrain 2: Explores Situation

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,

Quatrain 3: Provides a new perspective

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Couplet: Punch lIne
Comes from the Italian for "little song"
What's a sonnet?
A sonnet is a 14 line lyrical poem with a complicated rhyme scheme and a defined structure.
Two common types:
Petrarchan (Italian) and Shakespearean (English)
Rhyme scheme: abbaabba cdcdcd OR abbaabba cdecde
Octave: Establishes the speaker's situation
Sestet: Resolves, draws conclusions about, or expresses a reaction to the situation established in octave.
Petrarchan Sonnet
Two parts: Octave (8 lines) and sestet (6 lines)
Shakespearean Sonnet
Four Parts: 3 Quatrains and a Couplet
First Quatrain: Introduces the situation
Second Quatrain: Explores the situation
Third Quatrain: A turn or shift in thought
Couplet: Resolution to the situation; "punch line" of a sonnet
Rhyme scheme: abab cdcd efef gg
Sonnet 18
London, 1802
Most of Petrarch's sonnets were written about the love of a beautiful, but unattainable woman, named Laura.
Shakespeare changed the sonnet by including philosophy and irony.
Iambic Pentameter
Notice Shakespeare's use of IAMBIC PENTAMETER.
Iambic = an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable
Pentameter = Five (penta) iambs (meter) per line.
Full transcript