Tag Archives: unstressed syllable

ARTICLE: IAMBIC PENTAMETER: SHAKESPEARE’S RHYTHM


Iambic Pentameter: Shakespeare’s Rhythm

Shakespeare’s plays are written largely in iambic pentameter, a poetic meter in which each pair of syllables contains an unstressed syllable and a stressed syllable. It creates a rhythm like that of a human heartbeat: lubb-dupp. Strictly speaking, iambic pentameter refers to five iambs in a row, but poets vary their iambic pentameter a great deal. A common departure is the addition of a final unstressed syllable, which Shakespeare uses in one of his most famous lines. Which line is it?More… Discuss

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