Shakespeare’s Sonnets Form and Structure

Topics: Poetry, Iambic pentameter, Phonology Pages: 1 (265 words) Published: September 1, 2013
Shakespeare’s sonnets
* Form and Structure
14 lines
It is divided into 3 quadrants, four lines each and ends with a couple, of two lines The rhyme scheme is abab, cdcd, efef,gg
The sonnet develops its ideas, or argument, in stages- one idea in each of the three quadrants. Each quadrant introduces a different aspect of the overall argument. The rhythm of a Shakespearean sonnet is known as Iambic Pentameter. This is a technical term for a poetry pattern in which each line has 10 syllables, beginning with an unstressed syllable (or unaccented) and a stressed syllable (or accented) There are 5 pairs of syllables of unstressed or stressed syllables- 10 syllables per line. Each pair of syllables is known as an ‘iamb’. Each sonnet line has five (pent) ‘iambs’ therefore the rhythm is known as iambic pentameter. Iam = 2 syllables

+ = 10 syllables per line Pentameter = 5 feet

Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date: 
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; 
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest: 
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
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