William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are the differences and similarities between the Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnets, in a Venn diagram?

Expert Answers info

andrewhays0287 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write61 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Here’s a simple Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the Petrarchan (Italian) sonnet and the Shakespearean (English) sonnet. Let’s break down the diagram to look into these similarities and differences in more detail.

Similar Properties

Both styles are characterized by the usage of iambic pentameter, a type of poetic meter in which each line consists of five iambs. An iamb is a pattern of a short or unstressed syllable followed by a long or stressed syllable (as heard in the word “today”). All sonnets are composed of 14 lines and thematically include a technique called the volta ("turn"). The volta represents a...

(The entire section contains 312 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial