Sonnet 18 Shall I compare thee to a summer`s day? Thou art more

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The true originator of the
sonnet form was the
14th century Italian poet,
Francesco Petrarch, who
wrote 366 sonnets for
Laura, a woman he loved,
but could not have. She
was married and died of
the plague, therefore
representing the epitome
of “unrequited” love.
Laura de Noves
Francesco Petrarch (14th century Italian, for Lara)
The English (or “Shakespearean”) Sonnet
The Sonnet
William Mulready
1839
Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Notice: There is a
“problem” introduced in
the first part of the poem.
What is the problem?
The end of the poem
offers a solution. What is
the solution?
Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Notice: How many lines
are in the sonnet?
Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
a
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
b
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, a
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
b
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
Notice: the rhyming words at
the ends of the lines. Do you
see a pattern? Continue to
mark these as started - a new
letter for each new rhyming
sound. How many different
rhyming sounds are there?
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
The rhymes create sets of lines.
A set of four lines is called a
“quatrain.” A set of two lines
is called a “couplet.” Where is
the “problem” set forth? And
where is the “solution”?
Sonnet 18
u
/
u
/
u
/ u /
u
/
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
Notice:
• The unstressed (u) and
stressed (/) syllable pairs in
each line of the poem
(mark them):
u/ u/ u/ u/ u/ u/
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
Each pair is called a “foot.” The
unstressed / stressed pattern is
called an “iamb” (think:
“I am,” “I am,” “I am”) It is a natural
rhythm in spoken English.
How many pairs of iambic feet are
in each line?
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
A sonnet is written in iambic
pentameter.
Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
Notice:
• Where does the stream of
thought change direction?
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall Death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
The word, “but” signals
an exception. This turn is
called a “volta”.
Review:
• A sonnet is composed of fourteen lines in iambic
pentameter.
• A sonnet has a definite rhyme scheme. The rhyme
scheme of the English sonnet separates the poem
into three quatrains and a couplet.
• A sonnet contains a “problem” in the first part of the
poem, which is typically resolved in the final couplet.
English Metrical Patterns (aka “Prosody”)

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