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The Shakespearean Sonnets - Book Report/Review Example

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The Shakespearean Sonnets

The iambic -pentameter is defined as the rhythmic pattern of the sonnets.
An iamb is used for the purposes of measurement as it is metrical foot consisting of one stressed syllable and one unstressed syllable. The format which was used by Shakespeare consisted of five of these and it was used to make the pentameter.
The sonnets structure lies in the beginnings and the endings of the sonnets and the actual outcome is foretold. The beginnings start off with the introduction of a theme, plot and characters. The Shakespearean sonnets ultimately centered on winning the beloved as has been the theme of most English sonnets.
This situation is treated with the intensity of true passion and with the observation of psychologist and his insight. However all attempts to prove the identity of the three players in this triangular relationship fail to do and prove to be inconclusive.
The sonnets form has been divided along side two formats-while the Petrarch format is divided into the octave and the sestet. The octave is eight lines long and the rhyme scheme of it is as follows: ABBAABBA, or ABBACDDC. The sestet follows a rhyme pattern of CDCDCD, or CDECDE and is usually found in the last remaining six lines of the poem.
The octave and the sestet are usually found in a manner in which they contrast each other. The Shakespearean sonnet however, follows a different pattern and setting as it is not divided merely into two parts but into four parts. If one was to examine the structure, it would be evident that the first three parts are our lines long and are named as quatrains; following the rhyme sequence of ABAB. The last part is defined as the couplet and follows a rhyme sequence of CC.
The Shakespearean sonnet is used more often for the purposes of developing a theme or a metaphor of ideas. The quatrain part usually contains the ideas while the couplet part usually contains the summary or a new presentation of the ideas.
The structure of the sonnets, if examined closely, is connected through a pattern of the theme, the style itself and lastly, the subject matter. The first 126 sonnets which have been written by Shakespeare center on the young man and his affectations. The first seventeen sonnets, urge the young man to marry and to carry forward his lineage due to the lack of time available for the youth. The sonnets from 100 to 126 are addressed to the same youth but after the passage of a few years having passed.
While the sonnets provide the reader little about his life, they do however, provide one insight into his artist's being. The sonnets are full of metaphorical imagery and center on universal themes of love, change, lust and beauty. The Shakespearean sonnet in many ways is much more complex than the Petrarch sonnet format as not only is the sonnet's sequence occupied with the subversion of the traditional themes of love present in sonnets but there are formal patterns involved which combine ...Show more


This paper would seek to examine the differences that exist between the Petrarch sonnets and the Shakespearean sonnets. Shakespeare wrote in total 154 sonnets and the format was such that the sonnet consisted of three quatrains and one couplet. If one was to analyze the pattern of the sonnets, it would be deduced as "ababcdcdefefgg"…
Author : aondricka
The Shakespearean Sonnets essay example
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