Alexandrine

/al'ig zan"drin, -dreen, -zahn"-/, Pros.
n.
1. (often l.c.) a verse or line of poetry of twelve syllables.
adj.
2. (often l.c.) of or pertaining to such a verse or line.
[1580-90; < MF alexandrin, after Alexandre, from the use of this meter in an Old French poem on Alexander the Great; see -INE1]
/al'ig zan"drin, -dreen, -zahn"-/, adj.
of or pertaining to Alexandria, Egypt.
[1490-1500; ALEXANDR(IA) + -INE1]

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Verse form that is the most popular measure in French poetry.

It consists of a line of 12 syllables with a pause after the sixth syllable, major stresses on the sixth and the last syllable, and one secondary accent in each half line. It is a flexible form, adaptable to a wide range of subjects. It became the preeminent French verse form for dramatic and narrative poetry in the 17th century and reached its highest development in the tragedies of Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine.

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      verse form that is the leading measure in French poetry. It consists of a line of 12 syllables with major stresses on the 6th syllable (which precedes the medial caesura [pause]) and on the last syllable, and one secondary accent in each half line. Because six syllables is a normal breath group and the secondary stresses can be on any other syllables in the line, the alexandrine is a flexible form, adaptable to a wide range of subjects. Its structural metrical principle is stress according to sense; the form thus lends itself to the expression of simple or complex emotions, narrative description, or grandiose patriotic sentiment (it is known as the heroic line in French poetry).

      The name alexandrine is probably derived from the early use of the verse in the French Roman d'Alexandre, a collection of romances that was compiled in the 12th century about the adventures of Alexander the Great. Revived in the 16th century by the poets of La Pléiade (Pléiade, La), especially Pierre de Ronsard (Ronsard, Pierre de), the alexandrine became, in the following century, the preeminent French verse form for dramatic and narrative poetry and reached its highest development in the classical tragedies of Pierre Corneille (Corneille, Pierre) and Jean Racine (Racine, Jean). In the late 19th century, a loosening of structure occurred, notable in the work of Paul Verlaine (Verlaine, Paul); poets frequently wrote a modified alexandrine, a three-part line known as vers romantique, or trimètre. vers libre (“free verse”) soon replaced the alexandrine as the leading verse form of French poetry.

      In English versification, the alexandrine, also called iambic hexameter, contains six primary accents rather than the two major and two secondary accents of the French. Though it was introduced to England in the 16th century and was adapted to German and Dutch poetry in the 17th century, its success outside France has been limited.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alexandrine — ist ein weiblicher Vorname. Es handelt sich um eine Nebenform von Alexandra mit der seit dem 17. / 18. Jahrhundert beliebten Endung ine. Namensträgerinnen Alexandrine von Baden (1820–1904), durch Heirat Landesherrin im Herzogtum Sachsen Coburg… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexandrine — Al ex*an drine, n. [F. alexandrin.] A kind of verse consisting in English of twelve syllables. [1913 Webster] The needless Alexandrine ends the song, That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along. Pope. [1913 Webster] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • alexandrine — Poetry ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of a line of verse) having six iambic feet. ► NOUN ▪ an alexandrine line. ORIGIN French, from the name of Alexander the Great, the subject of an Old French poem in this metre …   English terms dictionary

  • alexandrine — [al΄ig zan′drin, al΄ig zan′drēn΄] n. [Fr alexandrin: so called from being used in OFr poems on ALEXANDER (THE GREAT)] [occas.A ] Prosody an iambic line having normally six feet; iambic hexameter adj. of an alexandrine …   English World dictionary

  • Alexandrine — Al ex*an drine (?; 277), a. Belonging to Alexandria; Alexandrian. Bancroft. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Alexandrīne [1] — Alexandrīne, durch Appretur seidenähnliche Siamoise aus Baumwolle u. Leinen, von Rouen u. Neufchatel …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Alexandrīne [2] — Alexandrīne, 1) Friederike Wilhelmine A. Maria Helene, geb. 23. Februar 1803, Tochter des Königs Wilhelm III. von Preußen, vermählt 25. Mai 1822 mit dem Großherzog Paul Friedrich von Mecklenburg Schwerin; seit 7. März 1842 Wittwe; sie ist Mutter… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Alexandrine — Alexandrine, Friederike Wilhelmine A. Helene, Großherzogin von Mecklenburg Schwerin, geb. 23. Febr. 1803. gest. 21. April 1892, war die Tochter des Königs Friedrich Wilhelm III. von Preußen und der Königin Luise und vermählte sich 25. Mai 1822… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Alexandrine — Alexandrine, Gewebe aus Linnen u. Baumwolle, in Rouen, Amiens, Neuschatel etc. verfertigt u. durch Apretur seidenähnliche Siamoise …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Alexandrine — in reference to a type of verse line, 1580s (adj.); 1660s (n.), said to be from O.Fr. Roman d Alexandre, name of a poem about Alexander the Great that was popular in the Middle Ages, which used a 12 syllable line of 6 feet (the French heroic… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Alexandrine — Ancient name for a fine mixture cloth of cotton and linen, woven in Switzerland and France, with coloured patterns over white foundation. The fabric had a glaze finish …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

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