Referred to as the English Sonnet
and the Elizabethan Sonnet
as well, the Shakespearean Sonnet
invented by William Shakespeare
(it was developed by Sir Thomas Wyatt
and the Earl of Surrey). However, Shakespeare
proved to be its greatest master
The Shakespearean Sonnet
cosists of three quatrain
s and a single couplet
, entirely written in iambic pentameter
s usually present a problem
in the first twelve lines, with a different aspect
of the problem
being addressed in each quatrain
. The couplet
offered a solution
, or epiphany
(altough the term epiphany
had not been used in this sense at the time). Here is a beautiful
example of the Shakespearean Sonnet
, written by the old bard
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
The rhyme scheme of the Shakespearean Sonnet runs thus: a b a b, c d c d, e f e f, g g. Unlike the Spenserian Sonnet, the three quatrains are completely individual, with separate rhymes.
Although this sonnet arrangement bears the namesake of "ol' Shakey," he preferred the Spenserian Sonnet.