How many iambs per line does a Shakespearean sonnet contain?


How many iambs per line does a Shakespearean sonnet contain?


An iamb is a type of metrical foot in a line of poetry chosen for use by the author in order to create a certain rhythm or flow. It is made up of two syllables, an unstressed syllable then a stressed syllable.

Other Types of Metrical Feet:

  • Trochee: the reverse iamb. It is made of two syllables, but the stressed syllable comes before the unstressed. "Tiger" is a trochee.
  • Anapest: the extended iamb, it consists of two unstressed syllables followed by a stressed syllable. The first line of Edgar Allen Poe's "Annabel Lee" begins with three anapests: "It was many and many a year..."
  • Dactyl: the reversed anapest or extended trochee, it has one stressed syllable and then two unstressed syllables. For example, the word "poetry" is a dactyl.

Answer and Explanation:

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Iambic Pentameter: Definition & Examples


Chapter 1 / Lesson 5

What does iambic pentameter mean? See iambic pentameter examples. Read about the use and function of the iambic rhythm. Read about its history and origins.

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