William Shakespeare's Works/Sonnets

Introduction to the sonnetsEdit

The Youth and the LadyEdit

The author's sonnets are written for two subjects: a young man, and the narrator's beloved. In the first of these cases, the narrator advises his young follower on how to attract women, while simultaneously declaring his own affection for the young lad. Modern scholars have claimed that their relationship borders on pederasty. However, none of his sonnets have directly declared this intent.

Sonnet structureEdit

Before the arrival of Shakespeare, most poets followed the form of what is known as the Petrarchan sonnet:

A
B
B
A
A
B
B
A
C
D
E
C
D
E

The last six lines could either come in the above form (C-D-E-C-D-E) or in the form of (C-D-C-C-D-C). This was the standard form for nearly three hundred years. However, Shakespeare revolutionized the sonnet with the creation of his own form, which would soon bear his name:

A
B
A
B
C
D
C
D
E
F
E
F
G
G

Guide to the sonnetsEdit

Last modified on 13 September 2009, at 22:56