Shakespearean Sonnets

Jessica Smith

Sonnets

Historical Information:

-Who: William Shakespeare was the creator of the Shakespearean Sonnet.

-What: The renaissance was a time that many poets and writers, such as William Shakespeare, had new ideas opened up to them.

-When: The first Shakespearean Sonnet was published in 1609.

-Where: William Shakespeare wrote his first sonnet that was published while he was living in England, and it spread to England much quicker than it did to other European countries.

-Why: These Sonnets were often used to express a poets love for a woman, not generally one specific woman.

-Famous Writers: William Shakespeare was the most famous, but other noted authors include; Edmund Spenser, Michael Droyton, Samuel Daniel, and William Drumand.


A Shakespearean Sonnet is defined as a poem expressive of thought, emotion, or a powerful idea.its purpose is to evoke a powerful thought or idea in the readers mind.


How do you write it?


This sonnet has fourteen lines, three quatraints that is consisted of twelve lines, and a rhyming couplet for the last two lines. It also follows an iambic pentameter, which means that each line is consisted of ten syllables and are divided into five pairs called iambic feet. It follows a rhyme scheme of

A

B

A

B

C

D

C

D

E

F

E

F

G

G


There are a few exceptions, however: Sonnets 99, 126, and 145. Number 99 has fifteen total lines whereas they usually have 14. Number 126 consists of six couplets and 145 is in iambic tetrameters instead of pentameters. These are the only exceptions to the rules.


#99: The forward violet thus did I chide:

Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love's breath? The purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
In my love's veins thou hast too grossly dyed.
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol'n thy hair:
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
A third, nor red nor white, had stol'n of both
And to his robbery had annex'd thy breath;
But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
More flowers I noted, yet I none could see
But sweet or colour it had stol'n from thee.


#126: O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power

Dost hold Time's fickle glass, his sickle, hour;
Who hast by waning grown, and therein show'st
Thy lovers withering as thy sweet self grow'st;
If Nature, sovereign mistress over wrack,
As thou goest onwards, still will pluck thee back,
She keeps thee to this purpose, that her skill
May time disgrace and wretched minutes kill.
Yet fear her, O thou minion of her pleasure!
She may detain, but not still keep, her treasure:
Her audit, though delay'd, answer'd must be,
And her quietus is to render thee.


#145: Those lips that Love's own hand did make

Breathed forth the sound that said 'I hate'
To me that languish'd for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state,
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet:
'I hate' she alter'd with an end,
That follow'd it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away;
'I hate' from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying 'not you.'

Examples

When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.


Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy.
Why lovest thou that which thou receivest not gladly,
Or else receivest with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling sire and child and happy mother
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee: 'thou single wilt prove none.'


Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain;
Lest sorrow lend me words and words express
The manner of my pity-wanting pain.
If I might teach thee wit, better it were,
Though not to love, yet, love, to tell me so;
As testy sick men, when their deaths be near,
No news but health from their physicians know;
For if I should despair, I should grow mad,
And in my madness might speak ill of thee:
Now this ill-wresting world is grown so bad,
Mad slanderers by mad ears believed be,
That I may not be so, nor thou belied,
Bear thine eyes straight, though thy proud heart go wide.