Aspects of a Sonnet Essay

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Aspects of a Sonnet

Explore aspects of the sonnet tradition through reference to a range
of material you have studied?

A sonnet is a 14-line poem with each line having 10 syllables. It
originated in the 13th century and was introduced into England in the
16th century by Sir Thomas Wyatt.

The Petrarchan (or Italian) sonnet characteristically consists of an
eight-line octave, rhyming abbaabba, that states a problem, asks a
question, or expresses an emotional tension, followed by a six-line
sestet, of varying rhyme schemes, that resolves the problem, answers
the question, or resolves the tension. The rhyme scheme for the sestet
is cdecde.

For instance, Wilfred Owen uses the first eight-lines to describe how
deaths at war are laid to rest and the sestet to describe how the same
thing is done back home (Anthem for Doomed Youth).

The rhyme scheme for the sestet is cdecde.

This is how the famous poet Francesco Petrarca, thus why it is named
the "Petrarchan Sonnet" chose to write his sonnets.

However William Shakespeare, a famous English poet, used another
sonnet-rhyming scheme his is as follows:

The first twelve lines are made up of three quatrains (blocks of four
lines linked by rhyme).

The last two lines form a rhyming couplet, e.g. a rhyming pair:

abab, cdcd, efef, gg

William Shakespeare is often considered the greatest writer of English
literature that ever lived. By 1594 he was a rising playwright in
London and an actor in a leading theatre company, who performed at the
Globe Theatre from 1599. His 154 sonnets were originally published in
1609 but it is argued that they were mostly written in the 1590s,
often expressed strong feeling within an exquisitely controlled form.

His son...

... middle of paper ...


"What candles may be held to speed them all?"

(Anthem for Doomed Youth, line 9)

To conclude, the six poets I have written about all had their
different views upon their own chosen subjects. And how sonnet have
been passed down through the generations and what a sonnet has become
today in the modern world. Shakespeare wrote about how love was
timeless whereas Keats had found love too late. Browning wrote of how
dedicated she was to her husband whereas Rossetti wrote of how she
wanted to be remembered when she was gone. Wordsworth saw things that
other people could not see and thus achieved his romantic poetic
title. And finally Owen portrayed his anguish and hatred of war in his
sonnets with an equisetic use of language and vocabulary. All the
poets who wrote sonnets, young and old have entranced millions of
readers throughout the world.

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