Presentation on theme: "The Sonnet “little song”. Definition A 14 line lyric poem in iambic pentameter Originated in the 13 th century in Italy Was brought to England by Sir."— Presentation transcript:
Definition A 14 line lyric poem in iambic pentameter Originated in the 13 th century in Italy Was brought to England by Sir Thomas Wyatt Modified by Shakespeare in the 16 th century Very tough to write due to short length and rigid rhyme scheme Most common topic is love
I. Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnet Developed in the 13 th century in Italy Petrarch perfected it – he wrote 317 sonnets to a woman named Laura whom he loved
Structure Organized into 2 parts Octave: first 8 lines (abba abba) Establish theme Poses a problem Volta: turning point Sestet: remaining 6 lines There may be variations of the rhyme scheme Anwers the question Resolves the problem
Milton’s On His Blindness When I consider how my light is spent Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest He returning chide, “Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?” I fondly ask; but Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed, And post o’er land and ocean without rest; They also serve who only stand and wait.
II. Spenserian Sonnet The form of the sonnet adapted by Spencer for The Fairy Queen
Structure 3 quatrains and a couplet (abab bcbc cdcd ee) 9 lines of iambic pentameter (ababbcbcc) – the first 8 lines are in pentameter, the final line is in hexameter (Alexandrine) The stanza is known for the unifying effect of the 3 interwoven rhymes and for the opportunity for summary and tone of dignity afforded in the added length of the alexandrine
Spenser’s Sonnet 75 One day I wrote her name upon the strand But came the waves and washed it away; Again I wrote it with a second hand, But came the tide, and made my pains his prey. “Vain man,” said she, “that dost in vain assay A mortal thing so to immortalize! For I myself shall like to this decay, And eke my name be wiped out likewise.” “Not so,” quod I, “let baser things devise To die in dust, but you shall live by fame: My verse your virtues rare shall eternize, And in the heavens write your glorious name; Where, whenas death shall all the world subdue, Our love shall live, and later life renew.”
III. Shakespearean Sonnet (English) Written by Shakespeare in the 16 th century Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets
Shakespeare’s Sonnet Cycles The first 126 sonnets are addressed to a young man of great beauty and promise Sonnets 127 to 152 are addressed to a lady with dark hair, eyes, and complexion
Structure Three quatrains (abab cdcd efef) followed by a concluding couplet (gg) The couplet is often an epigram summing up the problem or concern developed in the quatrains There is a different idea presented in each quatrain; each grows out of the one preceding it; The argument / theme is concluded in the binding end couplet
Sonnet Cycle A series of sonnets on a particular theme to a particular individual Love is a common theme The cycle allows the poet to explore many different aspects and moods of the experience, to analyze his feelings in detail, and to record the vicissitudes of the affair Each sonnet lives as an independent poem
Characteristics of a sonnet cycle Theme is usually the love of the poet for a beautiful, but unattainable woman She was the “cruel fair” whose favours her servant sought endlessly Her moods create the weather A brightening glance was a good omen, but not trustworthy – could change to angry sparks in an instant Love lyrics addressed to her not necessarily a living person (sometimes a group of people the poet wished to amuse)
After the Renaissance, the sonnet became virtually extinct for the next 100 years, until it re-appears in the Romantic Era.