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Word Count: 818
A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter with a carefully patterned rhyme scheme Few poets have ever truly mastered the art of writing a sonnet Sonnets are very clear short focused projections of a major theme of life It is an incredibly difficult task to create a masterpiece with such a rigid structure to follow Thomas Wyatt and Henry Howard brought the sonnet form into English poetry in the sixteenth century They introduced some modifications into the Petrarchan form choosing to use three quatrains and a couplet instead of the traditional octet and sestet The two also employed a different but still tightly controlled rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg This form later became known as the Shakespearean sonnet named after its greatest practitioner William Shakespeare perhaps the greatest author that ever lived wrote a collection of 154 sonnets that are truly a work of pure brilliance Shakespeare uses both Petrarchan and Shakespearean structure in his sonnets Sonnet 18 one of the most famous of Shakespeares collection is a masterpiece that truly shows Shakespeares incredible ability as a writer The structure of the Shakespearean sonnet its rhyme pattern and meter are all faithfully illustrated in this work as three successive quatrains of iambic pentameter verse leading lyrically to a concluding rhymed couplet and a high note The rhyme scheme is strict following the consistent abab cdcd efef gg pattern The ironic tone of this poem suggests a dramatic occasion in which the speaker attempts to quiet his lovers concerns about the negative impact of time and age on beauty In the first two quatrains Shakespeare masterfully employs a Petrarchan conceit to immortalize his beloved The male speaker initiates the extended metaphor in the first line of the sonnet by posing the rhetorical question Shall I compare thee to a summers day Although the speaker carefully inserts lovely into the second line it has already been made apparent to the reader that the
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