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Julius Caesar in Iambic. You’ll learn to love this…. Iambic Pentameter. What is Iambic Pentameter? Iambic: one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable A set of one unstressed and one stressed is called a foot Penta: means five

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Julius Caesar in Iambic

You’ll learn to love this…


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Iambic Pentameter

  • What is Iambic Pentameter?

    • Iambic: one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable

      • A set of one unstressed and one stressed is called a foot

    • Penta: means five

      • Iambic Pentameter is a single line of five feet written in iambic


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Blank Verse

  • Unrhymed lines of poetry written in iambic pentameter

  • This is what most of Julius Caesar is written in


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Iambic Pentameter Examples

Unstressed

U / U / U / U

“You blocks, you stones, you worse than / U /

senseless things!”

Stressed

One foot


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Iambic Pentameter Examples

U / U / U / U /

“Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings

U /

he home?

What tributaries follow him to Rome

To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!”

~Marullus in Act 1.1.34-37


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Why Iambic Pentameter?

  • Iambic Pentameter is the meter that most closely resembles normal human speech patterns.

  • But why use meter at all?

    • You can do things with meter:

      • The commoners speak in prose

      • Those in high society speak in iambic

      • Act 1.1 is an example of this


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Why Else Iambic Pentameter?

  • Suddenly changing a pattern, like the meter, makes the ear stop and take note of the change.

For those of you playing at home, this, here, is a visual example of how a change in pattern can draw the attention of your eye similar to the way changing meter can draw the attention of your ear and brain…get it?


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What is Being Emphasized in this Passage? sound it out…

“Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me most strange that men should fear,

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come.”


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Answer

/ U / / / U / / /

“Cowards die many times before their deaths;

U / U / U / U / U /

The valiant never taste of death but once.

U / U / U / U / U /

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

U / U / U / U / U /

It seems to me most strange that men should fear,

/ U U / U / U U /

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

U / U / U /

Will come when it will come.”

Notice the change in rhythm – this is for emphasis

Notice the change in rhythm – this is for emphasis


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Pretty Cool, huh

See, how can you not love iambic pentameter? Doesn’t it just make you want to speak in iambic for the rest of your days?


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