Thursday, October 29, 2009

Topic: Shakespearean Sonnets.

10-second review: Techniques for introducing Shakespearean sonnets.

Title: “The Sonnet Tradition and Claude McKay.” DEM Denize and Louisa Newlin. English Journal (September 2009), 99 – 105. The secondary school publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Here is an example of a Shakespearean Sonnet, Sonnet #29:

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries

And look upon myself, and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d,

Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee,--and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.


Students can follow the recipe (three four-line quatrains with the last line a couplet: abab, cdcd,efef, gg) and write their own sonnets.

Give students strips of paper with one line of a sonnet and they try to assemble them into a full sonnet.

Using the overhead, uncover the first line and students try to guess the next line and so on.

Comment: You probably thought of these techniques, but for those of you who haven’t…. RayS.

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