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volta


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The Italian term for the ‘turn’ in the argument or mood of a sonnet, occurring (in the Italian form of sonnet) between the octave and the sestet, i.e. at the 9th line. In the Miltonic variant of the Italian pattern, though, the volta comes later, about the 10th line; while in the Shakespearean or English form of the sonnet—which does not observe the octave/sestet division—it usually comes with the final couplet, i.e. at the 13th line.

Subjects: Literature.


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