Who is greatest sonnet writer in English literature? Who is greatest sonnet writer in English literature?  

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engtchr5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I must concur with morrol on this one. Not everybody has a type of sonnet named in their honor, after all. The Shakespearean Sonnet is still (probably) the most widely used sonnet format because of its imitation of natural speech (iambic pentameter), easily-written rhyme scheme (ABAB CDCD EFEF GG), and other factors. The Petrachan or Italian Sonnets have their merits, but it is the Shakespearean Sonnet that people immediately recognize and utilize for practical purposes. 

morrol eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Arguably Shakespeare was the greatest sonnet writer in English literature. He wrote hundreds of sonnets about legacy, love, and discontent. Herrick, Spencer, and Petrarch also wrote sonnets of their own in different forms. All sonnets are 14 lines, but while Shakespeare's has three quatrains and a couplet, other sonnets have 6 and 8 line turns.