In an assignment for Romeo and Juliet, how do I write Romeo's and Juliet's wedding vows as a Shakespearean sonnet?
In agreement with #4, use the sonnet in which Romeo and Juliet speak to each other in Act I. Romeo has 7 lines and Juliet has 7 lines. Since wedding vows are exchanges, the idea of one speaking, and then the other is perfect.
In a sonnet, the theme of the first six lines are often built upon in the next six lines. As you see in the sonnet between Romeo and Juliet, Romeo takes what Juliet says and builds upon the idea that satisfies his intent(After Juliet uses "saint" as a reason not to touch, he turns "saint" in a reason to touch), so, perhaps, you can begin with Juliet's promise to love and honor and, then, build upon these words for Romeo's declaration and vow of love. For example,
With thee, do I...[keepeth my vow to love--but work out the unstressed and stressed by choosing appropriate words]Remember to use iambic pentameter, and have the couplet summarize what is said in the 12 lines. Why not have Friar Laurence say these last two lines?
Look at some of the things that Romeo and Juliet say to each other and try to use that as the basis for your poem. For example, they will probably be getting married in a church so they might want to use religious imagery. So look at the things they say when they first meet -- when they are using all the religious images like talking about themselves as pilgrims of love.
Shakespearean sonnets had many features to them that you must consider. First, they were written to be 14 lines long and they were in iambic pentameter, which meant they had 10 beats or syllables per line. Often, the first 8 presented an idea in the form of one sentence, and then the last 6 answered the idea or shifted in their own sentence. You might consider Romeo speaking for 8 and Juliet for the remaining 6.
You have heard wedding vows of today. They explore devotion, loyalty under all circumstances, physical connection, responsibility and accountability. Considering the vocabulary you have seen in the play, use the ideas of today's vows and put them to Shakespearean language. The attached article mentions some of Shakespeare's typical traits of his own sonnets. They were often conflicting, emotional, conceptual, and dramatic. Read through the discussion and see if an idea doesn't just pop out to you.
A Sonnet consists of 3 Quatrains (four lines of poetry each) and ends with a couplet (2 rhyming lines). The lines are in iambic pentameter (unstressed/stressed times 5) The Quatrains should have a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f rhyme scheme. Read the Prologue.(Two households, both alike in dignity...etc.) That is a sonnet in form. Then create their wedding vows to follow that form.
Then the final two lines of your sonnet should be a couplet- two lines of poetry in iambic pentameter that rhyme. Like the final two lines of the Prologue in Romeo and Juliet!
You just have to give voice to what they would pledge to eachother!