01:790:340 Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Sonnet 116, Quatrain
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359:201 Principles of Literary Study: Poetry 10/31/19
due in class Monday 11/4
Assigned Reading: William Shakespeare, selected sonnets (course reader, pp. 22–25)
Shakespeare’s sonnets, considered to be a sequence, were published together in 1609. They
circulated in manuscript before that, which we know because other people referenced
Shakespeare’s sonnets in their writing.
The beloved about and to whom the speaker writes in the first 126 sonnets is a beautiful young
Questions to answer:
1. Use letters of the alphabet to describe the rhyme scheme of the sonnets. How does the pattern
differ from Petrarch/Wyatt and Spenser?
2. In sonnet 18, the speaker asks whether to compare his lover to a summer’s day. Much of the
poem explains why that would be a bad comparison. Name two ways in which the beloved is not
like a summer’s day.
3. Why does the speaker “curse [his] fate” in sonnet 29 (line 4)? What does “bootless” mean, in
context (line 3)?
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