Sunday, October 28, 2007


Alexandrine: in French verse a line of twelve syllables, and, by analogy, in English verse a line of six stresses. Drama poets often used alexandrines before Marlowe and Shakespeare popularized iambic pentameter.( =hexameter, usually iambic)

Hexameter: the hexameter line (6-stress line) is the meter of classical Latin epic; while not imitated in that form for epic verse in English, some instances of the hexameter exist.

Examples: From Pope's "Essay on Criticism":
(line 3) "But of the two less dangerous is the offense"
(line 357) "That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along."

-Grace Lin,1B

1 comment:

P.J. said...


Is your first example (line 3) an alexandrine? Check the number of metric feet.

Why is the alexandrine in line 357 significant or important? What's the larger context of this quote? What is Pope demonstrating? - PJE