Words of Wisdom:

"If you ever fail just get up and try agin never ever quit" - Heto

An Introduction to Shakespeare's Sonnets

  • Date Submitted: 01/18/2011 09:40 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.4 
  • Words: 11140
  • Essay Grade: no grades
  • Report this Essay
An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Sonnets
1. A general Introduction
The term "sonnet" derives from the Occitan1 word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning "little song". By the 13th century, it had come to signify a poem of fourteen lines that follows a strict rhyme scheme and specific structure. The conventions associated with the sonnet have evolved over its history. Other strict, short poetic forms occur in English poetry (the sestina, the villanelle, and the haiku, for example), but none has been used so successfully by so many different poets. The writers of sonnets are sometimes referred to as "sonneteers," although the term can be used derisively. One of the best-known sonnet writers is William Shakespeare, who wrote 154 of them. A Shakespearean, or English sonnet consists of 14 lines, each line contains ten syllables, and each line is written in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme in a Shakespearean sonnet is abab cdcd efef gg in which the last two lines are a rhyming couplet.
1) Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet
The Italian sonnet was created by Giacomo da Lentini, head of the Sicilian School under Frederick
II. Guittone d'Arezzo rediscovered it and brought it to Tuscany where he adapted it to his language when he founded the Neo-Sicilian School (1235–1294). He wrote almost 300 sonnets. Other Italian poets of the time, including Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) and Guido Cavalcanti (c. 1250–1300) wrote sonnets, but the most famous early sonneteer was Petrarca (known in English as Petrarch). Other fine examples were written by Michelangelo.
The Italian sonnets included two parts. First, the octave, which describe a problem, followed by a sestet, which gives the resolution to it. Typically, the ninth line creates a "turn" or volta which signals the move from proposition to resolution. Even in sonnets that don't strictly follow the problem/resolution structure, the ninth line still often marks a "turn" by signaling a change in the tone, mood, or...

Comments

Express your owns thoughts and ideas on this essay by writing a grade and/or critique.

  1. No comments