Shakespeare's sonnets

William Shakespeare wrote more than 150 sonnets.  They deal with love, beauty, politics and mortality.

Sonnets are poems that have a particular structure. In Shakespeare's time the form consisted of four parts whose lines rhymed. The usual pattern was a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g, which means that lines 1 and 3, 2 and 4 rhyme and so on.  

 

Exercise

1 Sonnet 18 is Shakespeare's most famous sonnet. Read it carefully  and select two lines that made an impression on you. Explain why you like these lines.

2 Read sonnet 130 on p. 13 or sonnet 18 aloud. Check if the lines rhyme according to the pattern a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g. Is the meaning of the poem reflected in the division of the poem into four parts?