What is Sonnet? Write a short note on Shakespeare’s Sonnets.
Definition of Sonnet: A sonnet is a short lyrical poem of fourteen iambic pentameter lines that are linked by an intricate (difficult) rhyme scheme. Each of the fourteen lines consists of five meters for which it is called pentameter. Again each of the fleet consists of an unaccented and an accented syllable or sound units for which it is called iambic. Sonnet is divided into two parts. First eight lines are called octet and next six lines are called sestet.
It is mostly in two types- a. Italian (Petrarchan) and b. the Shakespearean (English).
The rhyme scheme of the Shakespearean sonnet is abab, cdcd, efef, gg. It is looser than Italian sonnet. Three quatrains and a couple are contained in each sonnets of Shakespeare. Each quatrain bears 4 lines and the 3 quatrains are continued in the first 12 lines. Last two lines bear the couplet.
William Shakespeare has written 154 sonnets. Among them Sonnet 1-126 are addressed to his two young friends simply been named Mr. William Herbert and the Third Earl of Southampton whose name was Henry Wriothesley. However, he has felt inspired to write these sonnets by a particular individual, some young men of noble birth, handsome appearance and varied talents. Sonnets 127-152 are addressed to a dark lady named Mary Fitton, a mind of honor in a rich and exalted household. Sonnets 153 and 154 are addressed to the God of love.
Shakespeare’s sonnets are beautiful pieces of lyric poetry. In their variety of imagery, unrivaled expression, wealth of similes and metaphors, these sonnets stand unique in English poetry.