Iambic pentameter

(321 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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

An ictothetic metre consisting of ten syllable-positions, which may divided into five segments or ‘feet', each prototypically carrying a beat on the second syllable:

Her eyes|, her hair|, her cheek|, her gait|, her voice|.

There are two basic ways of varying this scheme: metrical variation (reversal, swap, coda) varies the pattern itself, and prosodic variation varies the way the patterns are represented in the syllables of English. In terms of metrical variation we may reverse the order of beat and offbeat in a foot, making the beat come first; any such reversal <…

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Groves, Peter Lewis. "Iambic pentameter". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 June 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=5524, accessed 02 July 2015.]