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Sonnets. Petrarch, Spenser, and Shakespeare. Francesco Petrarch. 1304-1374 B. Arezzo, Italy Poet, Scholar and Humanist during the Italian Renaissance His sonnets became a model of poetic form for all of Europe. Petrarchan Sonnet Form. Consists of two parts: Octave (8 lines)

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Sonnets

Sonnets

Petrarch, Spenser, and Shakespeare


Francesco petrarch
Francesco Petrarch

  • 1304-1374

  • B. Arezzo, Italy

  • Poet, Scholar and Humanist during the Italian Renaissance

  • His sonnets became a model of poetic form for all of Europe


Petrarchan sonnet form
Petrarchan Sonnet Form

  • Consists of two parts:

    • Octave (8 lines)

      • Introduces a problem or situation which leads to conflict or doubt in the reader

      • Introduced in the 1st quatrain and developed in the 2nd quatrain

    • Volta

      • The turn, or transition, between the two main parts. Found at the beginning of the Sestet.

    • Sestet (6 lines)

      • Comments on or proposes a solution to the problem put forth in the Octave


Petrarchan sonnet form1
Petrarchan Sonnet Form

  • Written in Iambic Pentameter

    • A 10 syllable line in which stresses alternate and there were 5 stressed and 5 unstressed syllables in each line

    • Stresses and caesuras are marked on the Keats’ line below:


Petrarchan sonnet form2
Petrarchan Sonnet Form

  • Sonnets have a strict rhyme scheme

  • Octave: Only one option

    • a b b a a b b a

  • Sestet: Many options in Petrarchan Sonnets

    • c d c d c d

    • c d d c d c

    • c d e c d e

    • c d e c e d

    • c d c e d c

    • c d e d c e


Petrarch sonnet 3

Era il giorno ch’al sol si scoloraro

Per la pieta del suo factore i rai,

Quando i’ fui preso, et non me ne guardai,

Che i be’ vostr’occhi, donna, mi legaro.

Tempo non mi parea da far riparo

Contra colpi d’Amor: pero m’andai

Secur, senaa sospetto; onde I miei guai

Nel commune dolor s’incominiciaro

It was on that day when the sun’s ray

Was darkened in pity for its Maker

That I was captured, and did not defend myself,

Because your lovely eyes had bound me, Lady.

It did not seem to me a time to guard myself

Against Love’s blows: so I went on

Confident, unsuspecting; from that, my troubles

Started, amongst the public sorrows.

Petrarch Sonnet 3


Petrarch sonnet 31

Trovommi Amor del tutto disarmato

Et aperta la via per gli occhi al core,

Che di lagrime son fatti uscio et varco:

Pero al mio parer non li fu honore

Ferir me de saetta in quello stato,

A voi armata non mostrar pur l’arco.

Love discovered me all weaponless,

And opened the way to the heart through the eyes,

Which are made the passageways and doors of tears:

So that it seems to me it does him little honour

To wound me with his arrow, in that state,

He not showing his bow at all to you who are armed.

Petrarch Sonnet 3


London 1802 wordsworth
“London, 1802” - Wordsworth

ABBAABBACDDECE

Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:

England hath need of thee: she is a fen

Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,

Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,

Have forfeited their ancient English dower

Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;

Oh! raise us up, return to us again;

And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.

Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart;

Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:

Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,

So didst thou travel on life's common way,

In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart

The lowliest duties on herself did lay.


Edmund spenser
Edmund Spenser

  • 1552ca-1599

  • B. London, England

  • Attended Cambridge and earned a master’s degree.

  • Spent most of his life in Ireland and his poetry was greatly influenced by his time there.

  • Apparently died in poverty.


Spenser major works
Spenser - Major Works

  • The Faerie Queen, an epic poem that tells the stories of six knights, each of whom represent a moral virtue.

  • Amoretti, the only Renaissance sonnet sequence that celebrates a happy relationship that ends in marriage.


Spenserian sonnets
Spenserian Sonnets

  • Still 14 lines

  • Broken into 4 parts

    • 3 quatrains

    • 1 rhyming couplet

  • Also written in iambic pentameter

    ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ /

    My love is like to ice, and I to fire


Interlocking rhyme scheme
Interlocking Rhyme Scheme

  • Spenserian sonnets are unique in the rhyme scheme.

  • Quatrain 1: a b a b

  • Quatrain 2: b c b c

  • Quatrain 3: c d c d

  • Rhyming Couplet: e e


Content
Content

  • Each quatrain addresses the poem’s central idea, thought, or question.

  • The couplet provides an answer or a summation.

  • The volta occurs in line 13 at the beginning of the rhyming couplet.


Sonnet vii

A

B

A

B

B

C

B

C

C

D

C

D

E

E

Sonnet VII

Fayre eyes! The myrrour of my mazed hart,

What wondrous vertue is contaynd in you,

The which both lyfe and death forth from you dart,

Into the object of your might view?

For, when ye mildly looke with lovely hew,

Then is my soule with life and love inspired:

But when ye lowre, or looke on me askew,

Then doe I die, as one with lightning fyred.

But, since that lyfe is more then death desyred,

Looke ever lovely, as becomes you best;

That your bright beams, of my weak eies admyred,

May kindle living fire within my brest.

Such life should be the honor of your light

Such death the sad ensample of your might.


William shakespeare
William Shakespeare

  • c. 1564-1616

  • b. Stratford-upon-Avon, England

  • Playwright, Poet, Actor

  • Most famous for his plays

  • All but 2 of his 154 sonnets were published in 1609


Shakespearean sonnets
Shakespearean Sonnets

  • 1609 Quarto only source of most 152 Shakespearean Sonnets.

  • There are 3 categories of poems in this Quarto:

    • 1-126 are addressed to The Fair Youth

    • 127-152 are addressed to The Dark Mistress

    • A Lover’s Complaint a 329 line poem written in Rhyme Royal


Shakespeare s addressees
Shakespeare’s Addressees

  • The Fair Youth (sonnets 1-126)

    • An unnamed young man

    • Written to in loving and romantic language

    • Some suggest this may be a homosexual love, others find support that it is platonic, or father-son love

  • The Dark Lady (sonnets 127-152)

    • Given this name because of she is described as being dark haired

    • The sonnets written about her express infatuation and are more sexual in nature


Shakespearean sonnet form
Shakespearean Sonnet Form

  • Still 14 lines

  • Broken into 4 parts

    • 3 quatrains

    • 1 rhyming couplet

  • Written in iambic pentameter:

    ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ / ˘ /

    Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?


Shakespearean sonnet form1
Shakespearean Sonnet Form

  • Rhyme Scheme:

    • Quatrain 1: a b a b [introduces question]

    • Quatrain 2: c d c d [tentative

    • Quatrain 3: e f e f answers]

    • Rhyming Couplet: g g [final answer]

  • Volta:

    • The turn or transition in line 9 which marks a shift in focus or thought


Sonnet 18
Sonnet 18

ABAB

CDCD

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 too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometimes declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.


Sonnet 181
Sonnet 18

EFE

F

G

G

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,

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.

Sonnet 18


Sonnet 182
Sonnet 18

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 too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed;

And every fair from fair sometimes declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,

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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