The Petrarchan sonnet is a sonnet form not developed by Petrarch himself, but rather by a string of Renaissance poets. Because of the structure of Italian, the rhyme scheme of the Petrarchan sonnet is more easily fulfilled in that language than in English.
Shakespearean Sonnet Basics: Iambic Pentameter and the English Sonnet Style Shakespeare's sonnets are written predominantly in a meter called iambic pentameter, a rhyme scheme in which each sonnet line consists of ten syllables. The syllables are divided into five pairs called iambs or iambic feet.
Edmund Spenser, a contemporary of Shakespeare, innovated the form even further and the resulting poetry has been called the Spenserian sonnet ever since. For centuries, sonnets of the Petrarchan and Shakespearean varieties have been associated with clichés of love poetry.