Rhyme Scheme

(194 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

The pattern made by placing words which end in similar sounds at the ends of lines. To mark out a rhyme scheme, letters, starting with a, are assigned to the first occurrence of a sound, such that line 1 is always a and the first occurrence of the next sound is always b and so on. For example, the pattern of the Shakespearean sonnet is three quatrains rhyming a b a b, c d c d, e f e f then a closing couplet rhyming g g. Viz:

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crowned,
Crooked e…
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Editors. "Rhyme Scheme". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=958, accessed 13 October 2015.]