Definitions for iambic pentameter

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Wiktionary

  1. iambic pentameter(Noun)

    A poetic meter consisting of a line with five feet in each of which the iamb is dominant.

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  1. Iambic pentameter

    Iambic pentameter is a commonly used metrical line in traditional verse and verse drama. The term describes the particular rhythm that the words establish in that line. That rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables; these small groups of syllables are called "feet". The word "iambic" describes the type of foot that is used. The word "pentameter" indicates that a line has five of these "feet." These terms originally applied to the quantitative meter of classical poetry. They were adopted to describe the equivalent meters in English accentual-syllabic verse. Different languages express rhythm in different ways. In Ancient Greek and Latin, the rhythm is created through the alternation of short and long syllables. In English, the rhythm is created through the use of stress, alternating between unstressed and stressed syllables. An English unstressed syllable is equivalent to a classical short syllable, while an English stressed syllable is equivalent to a classical long syllable. When a pair of syllables is arranged as a short followed by a long, or an unstressed followed by a stressed, pattern, that foot is said to be "iambic". The English word "trapeze" is an example of an iambic pair of syllables, since the word is made up of two syllables and is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable. Iambic pentameter is a line made up of five such pairs of short/long, or unstressed/stressed, syllables.

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