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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

Shakespearean Sonnets

All That You Needed To Know…and MORE!

what is a sonnet
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
Before Shakespeare…
  • The Italian poet Petrarch (1304-1374) popularized the sonnet more than two centuries before Shakespeare was born.
  • 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!
shakespeare cont
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........
shakespeare cont6
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.  
anatomy of the shakespearean sonnet
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.
sonnet 130
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.