heroic couplet

a stanza consisting of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter, esp. one forming a rhetorical unit and written in an elevated style, as, Know then thyself, presume not God to scan / The proper study of Mankind is Man.
[1900-05]

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poetry
      a couplet of rhyming iambic pentameters (pentameter) often forming a distinct rhetorical as well as metrical unit. The origin of the form in English poetry is unknown, but Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century was the first to make extensive use of it. The heroic couplet became the principal metre used in drama about the mid-17th century, and the form was perfected by John Dryden (Dryden, John) and Alexander Pope (Pope, Alexander) in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. An example, from Pope's “Eloisa to Abelard,” is

Then share thy pain, allow that sad relief;
Ah, more than share it, give me all thy grief.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Heroic Couplet —   [ hɪrəʊɪk kʌplɪt], paarweise gereimter, fünfhebiger jambischer Vers der englischen epischen Dichtung. Das Heroic Couplet wurde von G. Chaucer in die englische Literatur eingeführt und besonders im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (J. Dryden, A. Pope)… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • heroic couplet — n. a rhyming pair of iambic pentameter lines, first used extensively in English by Chaucer and later developed as a syntactically complete unit, esp. by Dryden and Pope (Ex.: “In every work regard the writer s end, Since none can compass more… …   English World dictionary

  • Heroic couplet — A heroic couplet is a traditional form for English poetry, commonly used for epic and narrative poetry; it refers to poems constructed from a sequence of rhyming pairs of iambic pentameter lines. The rhyme is always masculine. Use of the heroic… …   Wikipedia

  • heroic couplet — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms heroic couplet : singular heroic couplet plural heroic couplets literature two lines of poetry that rhyme and use iambic pentameter …   English dictionary

  • heroic couplet — noun a couplet consisting of two rhymed lines of iambic pentameter and written in an elevated style • Hypernyms: ↑couplet * * * heˌroic ˈcouplet f6 [heroic couplet] noun (technical …   Useful english dictionary

  • heroic couplet — noun Date: 1828 a rhyming couplet in iambic pentameter …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • heroic couplet — he.roic couplet n a pair of lines in poetry which end with the same sound and that have five beats in each line …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • heroic couplet — /həˌroʊɪk ˈkʌplət/ (say huh.rohik kupluht) noun a pair of rhyming iambic lines of ten syllables, used in heroic verse …   Australian English dictionary

  • heroic couplet — noun (in verse) a pair of rhyming iambic pentameters …   English new terms dictionary

  • heroic couplet — noun (C) a pair of lines in poetry which end with the same sound and that have five beats in each line …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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