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The Sonnet. AP Literature & Composition. Definition. A sonnet is: A 14-line lyric poem Written in iambic pentameter Follows one of several rhyme schemes. Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet. Divided in 2 parts 8-line octave rhyme scheme abbaabba

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the sonnet

The Sonnet

AP Literature & Composition

definition
Definition
  • A sonnet is:
    • A 14-line lyric poem
    • Written in iambic pentameter
    • Follows one of several rhyme schemes
italian petrarchan sonnet
Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet

Divided in 2 parts

  • 8-line octave
    • rhyme scheme abbaabba
    • Presents a problem, poses a question, or expresses an idea.
  • 6-line sestet
    • rhyme scheme cdecde or cdcdcd
    • Resolves the problem, answers the question, or drives home the idea.
    • The transition from octave to sestet is known as the turn.
shakespearean sonnet english sonnet
Shakespearean Sonnet (English Sonnet)
  • Contains three 4-line quatrains
    • Rhyme scheme abab, cdcd, efef
    • The three quatrains often express related ideas or examples.
  • Followed by a concluding 2-line unit or couplet
    • Rhyme scheme gg
    • The couplet sums up the poet’s conclusion or message found in the first three quatrains.
  • The turn occurs during the transition from the third quatrain to the couplet.
spenserian sonnet
Spenserian Sonnet
  • Developed by Edmund Spenser.
  • Like the Shakespearean sonnet, it is divided into 3 quatrains and a couplet.
  • Uses a different rhyme scheme that links the quatrains abab bcbc cdcd ee
groups of sonnets
Groups of Sonnets
  • A group of sonnets on a related theme is called a
    • sonnet sequence or a
    • sonnet cycle.
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