Sunday, October 28, 2007

heroic couplet

a stanza consisting of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter, often forming a distinct rhetorical as well as metrical unit.


Say first, of God above, or man below
What can we reason, but from what we know?

The heroic couplet was utilized by the likes of John Dryden, Alexander Poe, and occasionally Johnathon Swift. As the Norton puts it, Dryden fashioned the heroic couplet as an instrument suitable for every sort of discourse. Likewise Poe utilized the heroic couplet for its union of maximum conciseness with maximum complexity. By fashioning much of their verse in these stanzas, these authors were able to convey their statements in a manner that was concise, and neat, seemingly simple, yet allowed deeper meanings of the text to be concealed.

[Rhiza D]

1 comment:

P.J. said...

Explain why the heroic couplet is so important to this or any of the other poems we've studied. Is there something particularly attractive about it? What sort of tone is it supposed to establish for these works? - PJE