Ottava Rima (113 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

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


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.

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Editors. "Ottava Rima". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[, accessed 22 October 2017.]

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