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Shakespearean Sonnets. All That You Needed To Know…and MORE!. What is a Sonnet?. A form of poetry invented in Italy 14 lines with a specific rhyme scheme The topic of most sonnets written in Shakespeare's time was love. Before Shakespeare….

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Shakespearean Sonnets

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Shakespearean sonnets l.jpg

Shakespearean Sonnets

All That You Needed To Know…and MORE!

What is a sonnet l.jpg

What is a Sonnet?

  • A form of poetry invented in Italy

  • 14 lines with a specific rhyme scheme

  • The topic of most sonnets written in Shakespeare's time was love.

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Before Shakespeare…

  • The Italian poet Petrarch (1304-1374) popularized the sonnet more than two centuries before Shakespeare was born.

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  • William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets

  • Sonnets 1 through 126: address an unidentified young man with outstanding physical and intellectual attributes.

  • The first 17 of these urge the young man to marry so that he can pass on his superior qualities to a child!

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Shakespeare! cont…

  • In Sonnet 18, Shakespeare declares his own poetry may be all that is necessary to immortalize the young man and his qualities.  

  • In Sonnets 127 - 154, Shakespeare addresses a mysterious "dark lady"–a sensuous, irresistible woman of questionable morals who captivates him........

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Shakespeare! cont..

  • Shakespeare wrote his sonnets in London in the 1590s during an outbreak of plague that closed theaters and prevented playwrights from staging their dramas.  

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Anatomy of the Shakespearean Sonnet

  • Rhyme Scheme of Shakespeare’s sonnets: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

  • The first, second, and third stanzas have four lines with alternate rhymes, called quatrains

  • The fourth stanza is called a couplet.

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Sonnet #130

  • My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;

  • Coral is far more red than her lips' red;

  • If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

  • If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

  • I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,

  • But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

  • And in some perfumes is there more delight

  • Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

  • I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

  • That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

  • I grant I never saw a goddess go;

  • My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:

  • And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

  • As any she belied with false compare.

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