What Is A Heroic Couplet?


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The term heroic couplet refers to a type of couplet that is used in English poetry. The heroic couplet is made up of two lines of iambic pentameter in the English version; five feet of stressed and unstressed syllables in each line. The fact that they are couplets means that's the pair of lines must rhyme. The rhyme is always masculine which means that it ends on a stressed syllable.

This form of metre is used mainly for epic or narrative poetry such as The Canterbury tales by Chaucer. In fact, Chaucer is often named as the creator or pioneer of the heroic couplet, whilst Alexander Pope and John Dryden are named as the masters of the form.
The heroic couplet is not necessarily used in the original form, but has been used to translate classical originals such as the Aeneid into the English language. The reason that this is a preferred poetic form for this type of translation is the ease of rhythm and the way it conveys the classical poetic ideas.

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