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The Sonnet
In the Elizabethian period literaly language was addressed to a mixed public more trained in listening than in reading and more accustomed to group life than to privacy. These factors may explain why drama was the main form of Elizabethian art.
The Renaissance is also considered the golden age of poetry because of the flourisching of love songs and sonnets.
The sonnet was introduced into England by SIr Thomas Wyatt from Italy, where it had been experimented and refined by Dante and Petrarch, whose Canzoniere had become the model for all the European Renaissance poets.
As a metrical form, the sonnet is composed of forteen lines. The Italian or Petrarchan sonnet is divided into one octave plus a sestet.
The English or Shakespearean sonnet was first developed by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.
It consists of three quatrains and a final couplet; the rhyme scheme is: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.
Through this structure, the poet can use the quatrains to present a theme or three different arguments and draw a conclusion in the final couplet.
The traditional subjects of the sonnet are love and faith, beauty and art.

Italian Sonnet
14 lines of jambic pentameter
Division into 2 sections:
* the octave presents a problem or situation
* the sestet solves or clarifies the situation
Rhyme scheme:
* ABBAABBA for the octave
* CDECDE or CDCDCD for the sestet

English Sonnet
14 lines of jambic pentameter
Division into 4 sections:
* 3 quatrains that present a problem or situation and a couplet that solves or summarises the problem.
rhyme scheme:
* Quatrain I: ABAB
* Quatrain II: CDCD
* Quatrain III: EFEF
* Couplet: GG
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