Make your own free website on

Ms. Ryan's Class Site

6th Grade
Spanish Links
5th Grade
Meet Your Teacher
Favorite Books List
Explorer Report
Tips and Hints
Class Photo Album
Class Photo Album cont...

The Elizabethan Sonnet follows a set pattern.  It has 3 quatrains (four lines) and ends with a couplet (2 lines).  Every other line rhymes within each quatrain, and the couplet rhymes.  Each line is in Iambic Pentameter, which means that there are 10 syllables and every other one is stressed. 

Wait! There is more!  The first 2 quatrains introduce a problem or idea that gets resolved in the 3rd quatrain and the couplet. 

The Elizabethan Sonnet is also called a Shakespearean Sonnet because he wrote many.  Typically they were love poems. Yours may be about anything that will not get you in trouble!  Have fun and be creative!

Writing the Sonnet Blues


Oh, how will I write the perfect sonnet?

The idea of quatrains is all rhyming

My teacher says start, but I ‘m not on it

Iambic pentameter and timing?


Poetry brings just one thought to mind- run!

Run and don’t stop ‘til I’m out of the door

How could William Shakespeare do this for fun?

The Bard wrote one hundred and fifty-four!


The paper still sits here blank and unused

All I need is one possibility

Only then I would not feel so abused

It might blossom into reality


Then I look down, and I’m on line thirteen!

Now all my fears and hard work can be seen!

                                                ~Elizabeth Ryan




A     First quatrain:
B       notice lines 1 & 3(A) rhyme   
A       and lines 2 & 4 (B) rhyme

C     2nd quatrain: same
D        rhyming pattern(C&D)
E        3rd quatrain: same rhyming
F            pattern (E&F)
G    Couplet: problem solved

The prologue in Romeo and Juliet is an Elizabethan Sonnet. Also check the websites for Shakespeare under LINKS.  Good luck and have fun!