What is an octave?
In music, an octave (Latin: octavus: eighth) or perfect octave is the interval between one musical pitch and another with half or double its frequency. Two notes separated by an octave have the same letter name and are of the same pitch class.
A sestet is the name given to the second division of an Italian sonnet (as opposed to an English or Spenserian Sonnet), which must consist of an octave, of eight lines, succeeded by a sestet, of six lines. The first documented user of this poetical form was the Italian poet, Petrarch.
- An octave is a verse form consisting of eight lines of iambic pentameter (in English) or of hendecasyllables (in Italian). The most common rhyme scheme for an octave is abba abba. An octave is the first part of a Petrarchan sonnet, which ends with a contrasting sestet.
- The Shakespearean sonnet has the rhyme scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF GG, forming three quatrains (four lines in a group) and a closing couplet (two rhymed lines). The traditional subject of the sonnet has primarily been Love.
- Italian word for “turn.” In a sonnet, the volta is the turn of thought or argument: in Petrarchan or Italian sonnets it occurs between the octave and the sestet, and in Shakespearean or English before the final couplet.
There are fourteen lines in a Shakespearean sonnet. The first twelve lines are divided into three quatrains with four lines each. In the three quatrains the poet establishes a theme or problem and then resolves it in the final two lines, called the couplet. The rhyme scheme of the quatrains is abab cdcd efef.
- Write in one of various standard rhyme schemes (Shakespearean, Petrarchan, or Spenserian). Format the sonnet using 3 quatrains followed by 1 couplet. Compose your sonnet as an argument that builds up as it moves from one metaphor to the next. Ensure your poem is exactly 14 lines.
- Most sonnets are one of two kinds:
- Italian (Petrarchan)- this sonnet is split into two parts, an octave and a sestet.
- English (Shakespearian)- this contains 3 Sicilian quatrains and one heroic couplet at the end, with an "abab cdcd efef gg" rhyme scheme.
- Method 1 Writing a Shakespearean Sonnet
- Use the Shakespearean rhyme scheme.
- Write your lines in iambic pentameter.
- Vary your meter from time to time.
- Follow the Shakespearean sonnet's stanzaic structure.
- Develop your stanzas thoughtfully.
- Choose your subject matter carefully.
- Write your Shakespearean sonnet.
Traditionally, the sonnet is a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, which employ one of several rhyme schemes and adhere to a tightly structured thematic organization. Two sonnet forms provide the models from which all other sonnets are formed: the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean.
- In poetry, a stanza is a division of four or more lines having a fixed length, meter, or rhyming scheme. Stanzas in poetry are similar to paragraphs in prose. The pattern of a stanza is determined by the number of feet in each line, and by its metrical or rhyming scheme.
- Quatrain poetry is a poem of four lines that alternate in rhyme. So, the first and third lines have a word rhyming with each other at the end, as do the second and fourth lines.
- It is always assumed that the poem was written after the publication of Milton's 1645 Poems. It may have been written as early as 1652, although most scholars believe it was composed sometime between June and October 1655, when Milton's blindness was essentially complete.
Updated: 17th September 2018