How to Write a Shakespearean Sonnet
Shakespearean sonnet is said to be the most beautiful poem which expresses various kinds of ideas, emotions, and positive thoughts. Every poem contains 14 lines. They contain rhyming couplets that are used in the last two lines. They are usually formed with three quatrains. Shakespeare gave most of his time in sonnets and thoughtful poems which still inspires a lot of people to write poems.
Using Iambic Pentameter
This is the most important part of the sonnet as it measures various ways to get the rhythm of the line properly. Nowadays, almost every poetry often uses it. We can also call it as a poetic meter.
- Pentameter means five in Greek. This represents the feet in the poetic language. Usually, there are two syllables in each foot and we know that there are ten syllables in every line.
- Iambic has two parts of each word. First is unstressed and the other is the stressed part. Hello is an example where “hel” is the unstressed part and “LO” is the stressed part.
- There are five iambic feet in line which eventually results in a ten-syllable rhythm which is hel-LO hel-LO hel-LO hel-LO hel-LO. This is how every line is made.
Usage of Shakespearean Rhyme Scheme
The rhyming structure of the Shakespearean sonnet is very simple and as it is simple, a lot of people use it frequently. It is great for people who are new in this genre of poetry. There is a pattern of a rhyming scheme that you must follow.
- ABABCDCDEFEFGG. All these letters show the sound that is heard at the end of every line.
- With this structure, every first and third line will rhyme. This will make a good structure. Following the first and the third line, the second and the fourth and then the fifth and the seventh will rhyme. This will continue until the end of the poem.
Adhere to the Shakespearean Sonnet’s Stanza Structure
Every sonnet will have a heroic couplet and three heroic quatrains. This means that the quatrain consists of four pentameters in the ABAB rhyme structure and a couplet consists of two lines of pentameters with the AA rhyme scheme.
- The “GG” is the heroic couplet in the closing.
- You should separate the sonnet with discrete lines but you can separate the stanza with a blank line. The poet can even keep it together without breaking the stanza.
Try to Keep a Difference in the Meter
It is good to write all the lines in iambic pentameter format but not always. This will make the rhyming very predictable and it won’t feel different. As the poet will use various stress pattern that will be slightly different will make a difference.
- Try to use a variation to get attention to the key phrases in the poem.
- The poet can even break the pattern and this will make it more interesting.
Thoughtfully Develop the Stanza
It is important to develop the poem with the poet’s thoughts, but it is also important to expand the way a person thinks too, and make great stanzas of the poem. You should write every quatrain till the final couplet which will have a turn. This turn will always be in the thirteenth line of the sonnet.
- All of this will offer vast ideas to the issues accrued in the first three quatrains. We can take the example of Sonnet 30.
- In quatrain 1, the line which is sometimes, when they think about the past, they regret the things and people they have lost are using legal words to get across sessions.
- In quatrain 2, the transition starts with the word “then” which states that it is related to the quatrain 1.
- On the other line “when they are in a nostalgic mood like that, they can cry freely about friends who have passed away or been otherwise lost to them we can see that the usage of commerce language. This shows the poet that the lines are related to expenses.
- In quatrain 3, it tells us about further developments by using the language of commerce and tells the readers about the accounts and payments.
Carefully Choose the Subject Matter
As we all know traditionally the Shakespearean sonnets are usually about love, but the poets can keep this in mind that it is not important to follow the same structure and ways. It is up to the poets how they want to write their poetry with respect to the traditional sonnet.
- If the poet wants to take relations from other sonnets, then they can. There is no rule to write poets’ poetry.
- Try to make the matter unique and pleasant.
Do Follow Previous Work and Slowly Improvise
Start with following Shakespeare’s previous sonnets and try to imitate the same in your style and subject matter. Even start with the same topics that he has written and try to rewrite them in your own words. Next, write your own.
- Before starting, carefully observe his sonnets, and try to rewrite them in your own style and choice of words.
- Ask for feedback and check if it actually looks natural or needs improvement.
- Gradually, change to your original topic and compose the sonnet structure. Use any of the above methods for the same.
- Note that the poets should use a rhyming dictionary if they are having trouble finding rhymes.
- Always try to be creative and keep writing. The more the poets write, the better they will learn.
How do you write a sonnet step by step?
What are the 7 steps to writing a sonnet poem?
- Choose a Theme or Problem. Sonnets usually explore universal elements of human life to which many people can relate.
- Pick a Type of Sonnet.
- Write in Iambic Pentameter.
- Organize Stanzas.
- Follow a Rhyme Scheme.
- Incorporate a Volta.
- Use Poetic Devices.
What is the structure of Shakespearean sonnet?
What are five rules to writing a Shakespearean sonnet?
- Use the Shakespearean rhyme scheme.
- Write your lines in iambic pentameter.
- Vary your meter from time to time.
- Follow the Shakespearean sonnet’s stanzaic structure.
- Develop your stanzas thoughtfully.
- Choose your subject matter carefully.
- Write your Shakespearean sonnet.
What are 3 characteristics of Shakespearean sonnets?
Shakespeare’s sonnets are composed of 14 lines, and most are divided into three quatrains and a final, concluding couplet, rhyming abab cdcd efef gg. This sonnet form and rhyme scheme is known as the ‘English’ sonnet.