Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Find information on the rhyme, rhythm, themes, and structure in Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Shakespeare's sonnets follow set patterns in terms of rhyme, rhythm, themes, and structure, which has resulted in the creation of the term "Shakespearean sonnet."

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Shakespearean sonnets do indeed follow patterns in regards to rhyme, rhythm, themes, and structure. His 154 sonnets are so foundational to modern understanding of the sonnet that his pattern, which many others have since used, is known as the Shakespearean sonnet.

Firstly, Shakespearean sonnets follow a rhyme scheme of three quatrains followed by a couplet, which would appear like so: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. For example, "Sonnet 29" begins with the quatrain:

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,

As is typical for...

(The entire section contains 310 words.)

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