heroic couplet

heroic couplet

noun Prosody.
a stanza consisting of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter, especially one forming a rhetorical unit and written in an elevated style, as, Know then thyself, presume not God to scan/The proper study of Mankind is Man.

Origin:
1900–05

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heroic couplet
 
n
prosody a verse form consisting of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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heroic couplet

a couplet of rhyming iambic pentameters often forming a distinct rhetorical as well as metrical unit. The origin of the form in English poetry is unknown, but Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century was the first to make extensive use of it. The heroic couplet became the principal metre used in drama about the mid-17th century, and the form was perfected by John Dryden and Alexander Pope in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. An example, from Pope's "Eloisa to Abelard," isThen share thy pain, allow that sad relief;Ah, more than share it, give me all thy grief.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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