The Sonnet Experience
I. Analyze the Sonnet

A. The Argument

1. Is there a recognizable octave/sestet division? What idea is developed between them?
2. What aspect of the poem's argument is developed in each of the three quatrains? How does the couplet function in the argument?
3. If applicable, what is the relationship between what the octave/sestet break does and what the couplet does?

B. Sound Effects

1. Chart the rhythm of each line (scansion).
2. Chart the rhyme scheme and internal sound effects.
3. Where are there variations from an established pattern?

C. Figures of Speech, Imagery, Diction

1. Identify the metaphors used in the sonnet.
2. Identify the senses evoked by the poem's language.
3. Be able to identify the relevant denotation and connotations of every word in the poem.
4. Consider which words may have meanings that have shifted over time.
5. Consider the likelihood of punning, double entendres, euphemisms, and other wordplay.
6. Identify terms that may be grouped together (economic, political, musical, legal, etc.)

D. Paraphrase the sonnet.

E. How do all of the details that you have discovered about the poem serve the overall argument of the sonnet?

II. Appreciate the Sonnet (options)

A. Memorize and perform the sonnet.
B. Create a visual rendition of the sonnet.
C. Parody the sonnet.
D. Other?

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