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Shakespeare’s sonnets. Sonnet originates from italian word “sonneto” and means a lilltle song Four types of sonnets: Occitan Spenserian Italian or Petrarchan English or Shakespearean. Occitan sonnet: 13. Century

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Sonnet originates from italian word “sonneto” and

means a lilltle song

  • Four types of sonnets:



Italian or Petrarchan

English or Shakespearean

Occitan sonnet:

13. Century

conserved only in troubadour manuscript

Spenserian sonnet :

the English form of sonnet

named after Edmund Spenser

rhyme: abab, bcbc, cdcd, ee

  • English/ Shakespearean sonnet
  • Genre is named after Shakespeare because he was the most known poet
  • Devided into three quatrians (group of 4 lines)
  • Also has a conclusion at the end of the sonnet
  • rhyme scheme:
  • a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g
  • Italian/ Petrarchan sonnet

Created by Giacomo da Lentino

named after most talented sonnet writer Petrarch (Petrarca)

Two parts: 1) octave, where the problem is opened (two four-line stanzas)

2) sestet, where the solution is given(two three-line stanzas)

rhyme scheme:

Octave: a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a

Sestet:c-d-e-c-d-e or c-d-c-c-d-c.

shakespeare s sonnets5
Shakespeare’s sonnets
  • Main subjects: love, time, beauty
  • 154 sonnets form a collection named “Shake-speares sonnets”

Believed to be Thomas Thorn

  •                               T.T.


  • The Fair Youth 1-126
  • The Dark Lady 127- 152(153,154)
  • The Rival Poet 78-86
the fair youth
The Fair Youth
  • 1- 126 sonnets
  • Earliest sonnets talk about the benefits of love and marriage
  • After the 18th sonnet the tone changes into love and passion towards to the young man (20th!)
  • After 126th sonnet the young man is replaced by the Dark Lady
the dark lady
The Dark Lady
  • 127-152(153,154)
  • Is called “dark” because of her black hair and dark skin
  • It is not certain who this lady excactly was
  • Shakespeare describes her good and also bad features
  • 153th and 154th differ from the earliers, these are based on Greek poems and tell a story of Cupid
the rival poet
The Rival Poet
  • 78-86 sonnets, within the Fair Youth series
  • Identified as Christopher Marlowe or Goerge Chapman
  • Has a competition with Shakespeare