The sonnet came from Italy, It was invented by Iacopo da Lentini. The most important poet of this new kind of poetry was Petrarca who wrote the Canzoniere that became a model for all European poets.
Italian sonnet consist of one octave that presents the problem and one sestet that contains the solution. Often in the end of 8th line ther is a turning-point and the 9th line starts with word like : if, so, and.
English sonnet consist of 3 quatrains that contains 1 main theme or 3 main theme and 1 couplet that contains the conclusion.
Sir Thomas Wyatt introduced the Petrarchan sonnet into England, but he changed its form by substituting a third coupk and his successor Henry Howard introduced 3 quatrains and 1 couplet. The main theme of English sonnet were the poet’s love for one lady who cannot return his love; the lady coldness drives the poet to madness and desperation. It shows by use of oxymoron that combines two contradictory terms.
the most important poets of this new kind of poetry was Philips Sidney, Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare.
Sidney attended the court of Elizabeth I; he encouraged new poet like Spenser. His most important work was Astrophel and Stella that contains 108 sonnet and 11 songs. Sidney was influenced by Petrarca, in facr the main theme of his sonnet was the lover laments that his love wasn’t returned.
Spenser wrote some sonnet to queen Elizabeth I; His most important work was Amoretti where describes the love story with his wife.
According to Sidney and Spenser, poetry offered skills to monarch and would demonstrate that the Protestant culture was as important as the Christian’s culture.
Shakespeare’s sonnets were published in 1609. The collection includes 154 sonnets. He didn’t use the italian form of 1 octave and 1 sestet but use 3 quatrains and 1 couplet.
The sonnets can be divided into two sections. The first was addresed to a young man. In the sonnet 1 to 28 poet encouraged the young man to marry and preserve his beauty and virtutes through his children.
Sonnet 28 to 126 deal with different topics like the destructive power of time and moral weakness.
The second section was addressed to dark lady. The choice of the addressees is a novelty of Shakespeare who breaks with petrarchan tradition. In fact the love’s sonnet was addressed by Shakespeare to a young man instead to a lady. the main Theme of shakespearian sonnet were the time, death, love, beauty and art.