Petrarch, Spenser, Shakespeare & the Sonnet
FormSonnet 290Sonnet 75
The Sonnet FormThe sonnet is a 14-line lyric poem with a complicated rhyme scheme and a defined structure.13th Century Italian poets introduced the sonnet form.The Italian poet Francesco Petrarch perfected the form that became known as the Italian Sonnet.
The Sonnet FormThe sonnet is used to express personal feelings, especially those of love.Sir Thomas Wyatt introduced the sonnet into English literature.William Shakespeare mastered the form, and English sonnets became known as Shakespearean sonnets.
Spenserian vs. PetrarchanA 1st Quatrain (4 lines)B each quatrain addresses the A poems main idea, thought, orB_question_____BCB 2nd QuatrainC_____________CDC 3rd QuatrainD_____________E Final Couplet (2 Lines)E provides answer/summation
ABBA Octave (8 Lines)A introduces situation, B BAC or CD or DC or E Sestet (6 Lines)D or C expresses a reactionC or D to the speakers D or E situation
Sonnet 292Francesco PetrarchThe eyes I spoke of once in words that burn AThe arms and hands and feet and lovely face, BThat took me from myself for such a space. BOf time, and marked me out from other men, AThe waving hair of unmixed gold that shone. AThe smile that flashed with the angelic rays, BThat used to make this earth a paradise. BAre now a little dust, all feeling gone. AAnd yet I live, hence grief and rage for me CLeft where the light I cherished never shows, DIn fragile bark on the tempestuous sea, CHere let my loving song come to a close. DThe vein of my accustomed art is dry, CAnd this, my lyre, turned at last to tears. D
Sestet (Six Lines)
Octave (Eight Lines)
Sonnet 75Edmund SpenserOne day I wrote her name upon the strand, A Came the waves and washed it away: BAgain I wrote it with a second hand, ABut came the tide, and made my pains his prey. BVain man, said she, that dost in vain assay, BA moral thing so to immortalize. CFor I myself shall like to this decay, BAnd eke my name be wiped out likewise. CNot So, quod I, let baser things devise CTo die in dust, but you shall live by fame DMy verse your virtues rare shall eternize, CAnd in the heavens write your name, DWhere whenas death shall all the world subdue, EOur love shall live, and later life renew. E Final Couplet
Shakespearean SonnetA 1st Quatrain (4 lines)B sets up a situationA B_____________CDC 2nd Quatrain (explores the situation)D_____________EFE 3rd Quatrain (explores the situation) F__________Usually a shift in thought occurs here or in the Final CoupletG Final Couplet (2 Lines) G (Resolves the situation.)
Sonnet 130William ShakespeareMy mistress eyes are nothing like the sun; A Coral is far more red than her lips red; BIf snow be white, why then her breasts are dun, AIf hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head. BI have seen roses damaskd, red and white, CBut no such roses see I in her cheeks. DAnd in some perfumes is there more delight, CThan in the breath that from my mistress reeks. DI love to hear her speak, yet well I know EThat music hath a far more pleasing sound FI grant I never saw a goddess go, EMy mistress when she walks treads on the ground, F
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare subdue, GAs any she belied with false compare renew. G
Petrarch, Spenser, Shakespeare & the Sonnet FormThe Sonnet FormThe Sonnet FormSpenserian vs. PetrarchanSonnet 292Francesco PetrarchSonnet 75Edmund SpenserShakespearean SonnetSonnet 130William Shakespeare