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date: 30 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys some of the intricacies of rhyme and rhyming effects in Shakespeare’s Sonnets. It addresses the sonnet as a musical, rhetorical, and logical text that occurs as a real-time sonic event. It begins with discussion of the tripartite structure and end-rhyme scheme to argue for the architectonic orderliness of the sonnet. Sonnet 18 is analysed in terms of its subtle sound effects before the chapter moves to explore the ways that rhyme and rhyming effects serve as binders to hold together individual quatrains and sonnets, and also to hold multiple sonnets in sequences. Sonnet 87’s peculiar end-rhyme effects are examined in relation to its argument. Throughout the essay attention is given to the effects of early modern pronunciation on rhyme and sound echoes. The pleasure and power of rhyme are explored via its association with memory, sound, time, concord and friendship. The chapter concludes with remarks on the extraordinary structure and rhyming effects of Sonnet 126.

Keywords: Shakespeare, sonnets, rhyme, rhyming effects, end-rhyme, original pronunciation, time, rhetoric

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