Sonnet Literary Terms

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Last updated: May 7, 2019

Sonnet
a fourteen line lyric poem, usually written in iambic pentameter

Iambic pentameter
ten syllables or five feet (usually unstressed, stressed)

What are the three types of sonnets?
English (Shakespearean), Italian (Petrarchan), and Spenserian

What is the rhyme scheme of an English (Shakespearean) sonnet?
ababcdcdefefgg

What is the rhyme scheme of an Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet?
abbaabbacdecde

What are the last two lines of an English (Shakespearean) sonnet called?
concluding couplet

There are three _____ in an English (Shakespearean) sonnet.
quatrains

What is the first part of an Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet called?
Octave

What is the transition point in an Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet called?
Volta

What is the last part of an Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet called?
Sestet

How many lines are in an Octave?
eight

How many lines are in a Sestet?
six

Conceit
Extended metaphor

What is the rhyme scheme of a Spenserian sonnet?
ababbcbccdcdee

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