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The Sonnet Sonnet, in Italian, means “little song.” It is a lyrical (subjective, personal) poem. 14 lines long.

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Presentation on theme: "The Sonnet Sonnet, in Italian, means “little song.” It is a lyrical (subjective, personal) poem. 14 lines long."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Sonnet Sonnet, in Italian, means “little song.” It is a lyrical (subjective, personal) poem. 14 lines long

2 Francesco Petrarch The original sonnet form is known as the Italian, or Petrarchan sonnet. Petrarch (1304-1374): wrote sonnets made up of an octave (8 lines) and a sestet (6 lines). Used a rhyme scheme of abba abba cde cde. A “volta,” or turn, launches the sestet. His sonnets are often about unrequited love.

3 Page from Petrarch’s Canzoniere, 1464. Sept. 2004, Yale University Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

4 Sonnets Come to England The English poets Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, translated some of Petrarch’s sonnets into English in the 1520s and 1530s. By the 1580s, sonnets had become extremely popular on the Continent. Sir Philip Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella (1591) started a craze for the sonnet in England.

5 Front page of Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, 1591.

6 Shakespeare portrait collage from: William Shakespeare

7 Born: 1564, Died: 1616 Besides being a prolific playwright, he wrote 154 sonnets, as well as two longer mythological narrative poems. Collection of sonnets published in 1609, under puzzling circumstances, by the printer Thomas Thorpe. We do not know whether or not Shakespeare authorized their publication. The sonnets did not receive much attention for many years.

8 Front page of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Thomas Thorpe, 1609..

9 The editors of the Folger Shakespeare Library edition of his sonnets explain: “Almost all of them love poems, the sonnets philosophize, celebrate, attack, plead, and express pain, longing, and despair, all in a tone of voice that rarely rises above a reflective murmur, all spoken as if in an inner monologue or dialogue.”

10 Organization The sonnets are usually grouped together. The first set (Sonnets 1-17): addressed to a “Young Man.” The second set (Sonnets 18-126): celebrate the poet’s love for the man, and also address jealousy, longing and pain. The third set (Sonnets 127-154): involve a woman— known as the “Dark Lady.”

11 Left: Shakespeare’s Dark Lady by Ian Wilson. Right: William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke by George Vertue. National Portrait Gallery.

12 Shakespearean Sonnet Shakespeare reinvents the existing Petrarchan sonnet form. New form also uses 14 lines. Meter: iambic pentameter Rhyme scheme: abab, cdcd, efef, gg Couplet at the end is a distinguishing feature. As with his plays, Shakespeare relies on inversion (“Goes he” instead of “He goes”), metaphor and metrical effects.

13 Structure Three quatrains and a couplet. Each quatrain develops a specific idea, though they are related, and the couplet finishes the idea. “The couplet may be a logical conclusion, a further thought, or even a dramatic denial of what has come before” (Broadview Anthology, 122).

14 Other Sonnet Forms SPENSERIAN (after the English writer/courtier Edmund Spenser, 1552?- 1599) MILTONIAN (after the English writer John Milton, 1608-1674) MODERN (uses very few of the traditional sonnet rules– can be more or less than 14 lines, may include no rhyme at all)

15 Works Cited and Consulted Black, Jospeh, ed. et al. The Renaissance and the Early Seventeenth Century. Broadview Anthology of British Literature. Peterborough, Ont: Broadview P, 2006. Mowat, Barbara A. and Paul Werstine, eds. Shakespeare's Sonnets. Washington, D.C.: Folger Shakespeare Library, 2004. 14 Oct. 2007..

16 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 dimmed, And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed: But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st, So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

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