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The Sonnet
Basic Facts
• Shakespearean sonnet
• 3 stanzas
• 4 lines per stanza
• Each stanza is related to the previous stanza
• A couplet at the end: A couplet is two rhymed lines
• The meter is iambic unstressed, stressed/ unstressed stressed/
• The poetry of earth is never dead:
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Basic construction of a Shakespearean Sonnet
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1. 3 Quatrains with a final couplet
Quatrain = four-line stanza in a set rhyming pattern
Couplet = two rhyming lines
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First Quatrain
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (A)
Thou art more lovely and more temperate: (B)
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, (A)
And summer's lease hath all to short a date: (B)
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2. The rhythm for a Shakespearean Sonnet is Iambic Pentameter
Iambic = two syllables (an unaccented followed by an accented)
Pentameter = five feet (iambs) per line
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First Quatrain
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Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
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Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
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Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
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And summer's lease hath all to short a date:
Rhythm-Iambic Pentameter
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