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Meter Meter. A foot is a unit of rhythm that, when repeated, makes up a verse (a line) A foot = two syllables or three syllables Syllables alternate stressed or unstressed

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Meter meter
Meter Meter

  • A foot is a unit of rhythm that, when repeated, makes up a verse (a line)

  • A foot = two syllables or three syllables

  • Syllables alternate stressed or unstressed

  • Virtually all English feet are based on unstressed/stressed (2) syllables (it is closest to their natural rhythm of speaking)

  • The ancient Greeks wrote their verse in stressed/unstressed/stressed syllables (3)


Meter meter1
Meter Meter

  • Duple Meters (2-syllabled feet)

    • Iamb: unstressed/stressed (Shakespeare)

      ex: a-way; Ter-rease

    • Trochee: stressed/unstressed

      ex: Li-sa; Ja-son

    • Spondee: stressed/stressed

      ex: air-plane, sand-lot, Gin-ger


Meter meter2
Meter Meter

  • Triple Meters (3-syllabled feet):

    • Dactyl: stressed/unstressed/unstressed (Greeks)

      Ex: Whim-si-cal; Jo-shu-a

    • Anapest: unstressed/unstressed/stressed

      Ex: in a hole; in the ground;

    • Amphibrach: unstressed/stressed/unstressed

      Ex: Toy-o-ta; Pa-go-da; Cor-rin-na; Ci-er-a


Meter meter3
Meter Meter

  • Meter = # of feet per line (either duple or triple)

    • One foot: monometer

    • Two feet: dimeter

    • Three feet: trimeter

    • Four feet: tetrameter

    • Five feet: pentameter (Shakes)

    • Six feet: hexameter (Greeks)


Meter meter4
Meter Meter

A series of Iambs:

  • Shall I

  • Com-pare

  • Thee to

  • A sum-

  • -mer’s day

    (5 feet = pentameter)

    Shall I com-pare thee to a sum-mer’s day.


Meter meter5
Meter Meter

  • A series of anapests:

  • By the fence

  • In a hole

  • In the ground

  • Was a bird

    (tetrameter)

    By the fence in a hole in the ground was a

    bird.