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How many lines are in a sonnet?

Asked by anonymous - 8 years 5 months ago

 

Highest Rated Answer

Answered by oz
6 years 6 months ago
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The Italian sonnet is divided into two sections by two different groups of rhyming sounds. The first 8 lines is called the octave and rhymes: a b b a a b b a
The remaining 6 lines is called the sestet and can have either two or three rhyming sounds, arranged in a variety of ways:
c d c d c d
c d d c d c
c d e c d e
c d e c e d
c d c e d c

A sonnet is fundamentally a dialectical construct which allows the poet to examine the nature and ramifications of two usually contrastive ideas, emotions, states of mind, beliefs, actions, events, images, etc., by juxtaposing the two against each other, and possibly resolving or just revealing the tensions created and operative between the two.

Basically, in a sonnet, you show two related but differing things to the reader in order to communicate something about them. Each of the three major types of sonnets accomplishes this in a somewhat different way. There are, of course, other types of sonnets, as well, but I'll stick for now to just the basic three (Italian, Spenserian, English), with a brief look at some non-standard sonnets.

I. The Italian (or Petrarchan) Sonnet:
The basic meter of all sonnets in English is iambic pentameter (basic information on iambic pentameter), although there have been a few tetrameter and even hexameter sonnets, as well

The exact pattern of sestet rhymes (unlike the octave pattern) is flexible. In strict practice, the one thing that is to be avoided in the sestet is ending with a couplet (dd or ee), as this was never permitted in Italy, and Petrarch himself (supposedly) never used a couplet ending; in actual practice, sestets are sometimes ended with couplets (Sidney's "Sonnet LXXI given below is an example of such a terminal couplet in an Italian sonnet).

To find out more: www.sonnets.org/basicforms.htm

This answer was provided by another Unasked.com member, Jan, from a similar question.

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commented 2 years 11 months ago

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Other Answers

Answered by anonymous
8 years 5 months ago
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There are 14 lines in a sonnet.
► Mary Smith - Elsberry, MO

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oz
commented 6 years 11 months ago

Traditionally, there are 14 lines in a sonnet.

Answered by anonymous
6 years 6 months ago
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looking for chocolate

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anonymous
commented 6 years 6 months ago

looking for your mum!

Answered by anonymous
6 years 6 months ago
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i thought 12 but i guess 14.

Answered by anonymous
6 years 6 months ago
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there are 14 lines in a sonnet how i got that number is by like at poems and count how many lines there are that how i got that.

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anonymous
commented 6 years ago

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anonymous
commented 6 years 6 months ago

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commented 5 years 3 months ago

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