A sonnet expresses a single idea, but it is generally an idea that develops and expands, with multiple facets, leading to a conclusion — and all within a very specific rhyming scheme. In addition to this structure, all Shakespearean sonnets must have these two things in common:. Find out more about what a sonnet is , and iambic pentameter , or discover some wonderful sonnet examples from a variety of poets. All Shakespearean sonnets follow this 14 line pattern and rhyming structure. So, now you have the basics, here are the three simple steps to have you writing your own sonnet in no time:. Your sonnet must be about one single idea.
How to Write a Sonnet Like Shakespeare: 12 Steps (with Pictures)
Shakespearean Sonnet Basics: Iambic Pentameter and the English Sonnet Style Shakespeare's sonnets are written predominantly in a meter called iambic pentameter, a rhyme scheme in which each sonnet line consists of ten syllables. The syllables are divided into five pairs called iambs or iambic feet. An iamb is a metrical unit made up of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. An example of an iamb would be good BYE. Unrhymed iambic pentameter is called blank verse. It should be noted that there are also many prose passages in Shakespeare's plays and some lines of trochaic tetrameter , such as the Witches' speeches in Macbeth.
Last Updated: May 21, References. This article was co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD. Michelle Golden is an English teacher in Athens, Georgia. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.