Sir Philip Sidney Questions and Answers

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How can you explain the rhythm and rhyme in the Sir Philip Sidney's "My True Love Hath My Heart"

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Sir Philip Sidney's poem "My True Love Hath My Heart" is written in iambic pentameter. (This is the rhythm.) This means that there are ten syllables per line, and that the stress rests on every other syllable.

This poetic form was popular in Shakespeare's time; this form of poem is, in fact, known as a Shakespearean or Elizabethan sonnet.

A sonnet is a poetic form of fourteen lines, with a prescribed rhyme scheme. A rhyme scheme is a pattern of rhyme: a rhyme is created with the last word of each line. Each sound is given a letter that represents one sound. When a new sound is presented, a new letter is assigned to it.

The rhyme scheme in this sonnet is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. This means that the last word in line one rhymes with the last word in line three. Line two has a different end rhyme, so a new letter (B) is assigned to that sound. This process of rhyme is repeated until the writer reaches the thirteenth and fourteenth lines: these lines rhyme with each other; this is called a rhyming couplet.

Lines five and seven (ending with "one" and "own") present what is called "near rhyme." The last words of each line sound somewhat alike, but this is not an example of "pure rhyme" (which is found in lines two and four, "giv'n" and "driv'n").

Other sonnet forms are Petrarchan, or Italian, and Spenserian. All sonnets are fourteen lines with a specific rhyme scheme.

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