Ottava Rima (113 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • Editors
  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

Context

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.

Citation:
Editors. "Ottava Rima". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=800, accessed 08 December 2016.]