For today’s reading, I’ve taken a suggestion from my former college Shakespeare professor (thank you, Dr. Sommer) to talk a little bit about the form of the Sonnet. Don’t worry–I’ve tried to keep it simple and very, very basic, even though the sonnet form is crazy intricate. My little chat misses a thousand things, just scratching the surface.
I’d like to make one comment before letting my video do my work for me. The intricacies of the Elizabethan sonnet were more than just for fun, more than a Sudoku puzzle, more than just the pleasure of, say, solving the Sunday New York Times Crossword. All the crazy rules of the sonnet form together–and Shakespeare’s mastery over all those elements–have combined together to make Shakespeare’s sonnets so enduring.
Find a few brief section headers from my chat below.
Cathedral of the Written Word
Wherein I rant a bit why I’m so obsessed with Shakespeare’s sonnets.
14 lines with a specific rhyme scheme
A bit about the very specific rhyme scheme.
3 Quatrains, the Turn and a Couplet
The basic organization of the sonnet, which helps make each sonnet an ‘argument.’
This is all metered verse. Here I don’t even scratch the surface. But trust me, metered verse adds to its lyricism, and especially comes to play when this poetry is spoken aloud.
Thank you to everyone today who watched my mini lecture.