Ottava Rima

(113 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

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

A stanza of eight lines of iambic pentameter rhymed a b a b a b c c. Used by Italian writers such as Ariosto, it was brought into English writing by Wyatt in the sixteenth century and used to great effect by Byron in Don Juan.

I want a hero, an uncommon want,
When every year and month sends forth a new one,
Till after cloying the gazettes with cant,
The age discovers he is not the true one.
Of such as these I should not care to vaunt;
I'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan.
We all have seen him in the pantomime
Sent to the devil somewhat ere his time.
Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Editors. "Ottava Rima". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]