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Sonnets are one-stanza, 14-line poems, written in iambic pentameter. The sonnet derives from the Italian word sonetto, meaning “a little sound or song.”
A little guidance;
- Fourteen lines: Sonnets have 14 lines, which can be broken down into four sections called quatrains.
- Rhyme scheme: The rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet is ABAB / CDCD / EFEF / GG
- Written in iambic pentameter: Sonnets are written in iambic pentameter, a poetic meter with 10 beats per line made up of alternating unstressed and stressed syllables.
A sonnet can be broken into four sections called quatrains.
- First quatrain: Establishes the subject of the sonnet.Number of lines: four; rhyme scheme: ABAB
- Second quatrain: Develops the sonnet’s theme.Number of lines: four; rhyme scheme: CDCD
- Third quatrain: Rounds off the sonnet’s theme.Number of lines: four; rhyme scheme: EFEF
- Fourth quatrain: Concludes the sonnet.Number of lines: two; rhyme scheme: GG