Renaissance Poetry

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Last updated: December 10, 2019

definition of “pastoral”
literally means “rural”

definition of “pastoral”
literally means “having to do with the rustic life of shepherds”

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pastoral verse
poem that idealizes rural settings

sonnet
derived from the Italian word for “little song”

two forms of sonnet
Shakespearean sonnet and Petrarchan sonnet

another term for the English sonnet
Shakespearean sonnet

another term for the Italian sonnet
Petrarchan sonnet

number of lines in a sonnet
fourteen lines

number of syllables in each line of a sonnet
ten syllables

quatrain
four lines of poetry

couplet
two lines of poetry

octave
eight lines of poetry

sestet
six lines of poetry

rhyme scheme of Shakespearean or English sonnet
abab cdcd efef gg

rhyme scheme of Petrarchan or Italian sonnet
abbaabba cdcdcd OR abbaabba cdecde

structure of English sonnet
three quatrains, one couplet

structure of Italian sonnet
one octave, one sestet

dates of English Renaissance
1485-1660

definition of “renaissance”
literally means “rebirth”

replaced medieval worldview’s emphasis on religion and the afterlife
emphasis on experiencing human life here on earth

simile
a comparison of two unlike things using like or asEx: Her eyes are like the sun.

metaphor
a comparison of two unlike thingsEx. Her eyes are the sun.

hyperbole
an exaggeration for an effectEx: My book bag weighs a ton.

personification
giving human qualities to something that is not humanEx.

Hunger sat on my bed and kept me company all night.

alliteration
the repetition of initial consonant soundsEx. “Out of the huts of history’s shame.

assonance
Repetition of a vowel sound within two or more words in close proximity

paradox
A statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.Ex. Living is dying.

tone
the writer’s attitude toward the subjectEx. sad, depressed, angry, melancholy

onomatopoeia
A word that imitates the sound it represents.Ex. Whoosh!

repetition
Repeated use of sounds, words, or ideas for effect and emphasisEx. The eye of the tiger. The eye of the tiger. The eye of the tiger.

The eye of the tiger.

internal rhyme
A word inside a line rhymes with another word on the same lineEx. You will forever dissever my soul.

Exact rhyme
Uses words with identical end sound

Slant rhyme
rhyme in which the vowel sounds are nearly, but not exactly the same (i.e.

the words “stress” and “kiss”); sometimes called half-rhyme, near rhyme, or partial rhyme

parallelism
Repeating the same grammatical structureEx. “Ferocious dragons breathing fire and wicked sorcerers casting their spells…”

Spenserian Sonnet
14 line lyrical poem written in iambic pentameter having 3 quatrains and a couplet and a rhyme scheme of ABABBCBCCDCDEE

imagery
Description that appeals to the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste)

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