Download Shakespeare's Sonnets

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General Background
Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets
Mostly written from 1592 to 1598
First published in 1609
English Style Sonnet
Written in iambic pentameter
A sonnet line consists of ten syllables
divided into five pairs called iambs or
iambic feet.
Iamb is a metrical unit made up of one
unstressed followed by one stressed
An example good BYE
When I/ do COUNT/ the CLOCK
/ that TELLS/
the TIME
When IN/ disGRACE/with FOR/tune AND/ men’s EYES
Shall I/ comPARE/ the TO / a SUM/mer’s DAY?
Sonnet Structure
14 lines in a Shakespearean sonnet
First 12 divided into three quatrains with
four lines each
First three quatrains the poet establishes a
theme or problem
Resolves in the final two lines called the
Rhyme Scheme
abab cdcd efef
The couplet is gg