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Shakespeare’s Sonnets. General Background. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets Mostly written from 1592 to 1598 First published in 1609. English Style Sonnet. Written in iambic pentameter A sonnet line consists of ten syllables divided into five pairs called iambs or iambic feet.

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Shakespeare’s Sonnets


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general background
General Background
  • Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets
  • Mostly written from 1592 to 1598
  • First published in 1609
english style sonnet
English Style Sonnet
  • Written in iambic pentameter
  • A sonnet line consists of ten syllables divided into five pairs called iambs or iambic feet.
  • Iamb is a metrical unit made up of one unstressed followed by one stressed syllable.
  • An example good BYE
examples
Examples
  • baBOOM/ baBOOM/ baBOOM/ baBOOM/baBOOM
  • When I/ do COUNT/ the CLOCK / that TELLS/ the TIME
  • When IN/ disGRACE/with FOR/tune AND/ men’s EYES
  • Shall I/ comPARE/ the TO / a SUM/mer’s DAY?
sonnet structure
Sonnet Structure
  • 14 lines in a Shakespearean sonnet
  • First 12 divided into three quatrains with four lines each
  • First three quatrains the poet establishes a theme or problem
  • Resolves in the final two lines called the couplet.
rhyme scheme
Rhyme Scheme
  • Quatrains
  • abab cdcd efef
  • The couplet is gg