An "iamb" is an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one. So "iambic pentameter" is a kind of rhythmic pattern that consist of five iambs per line. It's the most common rhythm in English poetry and sounds like five heartbeats: Every second syllable is accented, so this is classic iambic pentameter.
You smarty-pants es in the audience probably noticed that there's a shift in the meter of the first line, so that two unaccented syllables follow each other.
That's a little bit of poetic license there. Poets and playwrights hardly ever write in perfect meter, because perfect meter sounds like a nursery rhyme. Varying the meter draws attention to certain words like "die" and "sleep" in this case and helps the verse sound a little more natural.
That takes care of iambic pentameter. Since these lines have no rhyme scheme "melt" and "dew" don't rhyme , we call it "unrhymed iambic pentameter," which is also known as "blank verse.
Blank verse is a pretty formal way to speak, so it's reserved for nobles and formal situations, like Claudius' address to the court in Act I, scene ii. Hamlet's soliloquies are in verse too, but he also speaks a lot of prose—which we think has something to do with how much role-playing he does. Characters who aren't so high-class—like the gravediggers—don't get to speak in verse; they just talk.
Hamlet himself, however, sometimes speaks in prose, even when he's being awfully poetic. Act 1, Scene 2. Act 1, Scene 3. Act 1, Scene 4. Act 1, Scene 5. Act 2, Scene 1. Act 2, Scene 2. Act 2, Scene 3. Act 2, Scene 4. Act 2, Scene 5. Act 2, Scene 6. Act 3, Scene 1. Act 3, Scene 2. Act 3, Scene 3. Act 3, Scene 4. Act 3, Scene 5. Act 4, Scene 1. Act 4, Scene 2. Act 4, Scene 3.
Act 4, Scene 4. Act 4, Scene 5. Act 5, Scene 1.
Some of the most famous lines in the history of literature come from the writings of William Shakespeare. Learn all about his unique writing style.
Shakespeare's style of writing was principally "blank verse," a form of unrhymed iambic pentameter. Like much Elizabethan literature, his plays were typically replete with figurative language and rhetoric.
Shakespeare's sonnets are written in iambic pentameter, with the exception of Sonnet , which is written in iambic tetrameter. Shakespeare's style of writing and metre choice were typical of the day, and other writings of the . Shakespeare's Writing Style. Shakespeare's style first started as a traditional style, when he first started writing his plays. He first started out as a comedic writer, until he found a love of morbid and dark things.
What was Shakespeare's writing style? Update Cancel. ad by Grammarly. Your writing, at its best. How did Shakespeare's writing style in plays differ from his style in poems? The Writing Style of William Shakespeare | FreelanceWriting. Macbeth Writing Style Blank Verse and Prose Here's what you should remember about Shakespeare's plays: Thenobility tend to speak in blank verse.