Asked • 03/14/19

Shakespeare and Iambic pentameter?

My question is, 'Is Iambic pentameter just an illusion?' When I learned Shakespeare in school, my teacher emphasized on the thing called 'iambic pentameter'. That goes like 'du Dum du Dum......' But when I looked up at the famous 'tomorrow speech' from Macbeth, I really didn't think this isn't on Iambic pentameter. Only Iambic pentameter I can name was the line 'That strets and frets his hour upon the stage.' So I posted a question in the other site and the answer I was given was that there is no strict iambic pentameter. No-one writes poems in strict iambic pentameter and that shakespeare isn't much of it. They said it is even debatable whether Shakespeare 'knew' what is iambic pentameter or he just followed what other people in his period wrote. I was... deeply confused? And they say the poem I gave as an example of Iambic trimeter isn't much of Iambic either. It goes like this. 'Although the sun and moon were gone And the universe ceased to be And thou art left alone Every existence would exist in thee.' Is my perception of Iambic completely wrong? I've always thought that poems are to be written in iambic. I don't know why my teacher so much gave an emphasis on it.

2 Answers By Expert Tutors


Christine N. answered • 02/07/20

New to Wyzant

Christy - Mother of two, Graduate student, looking to help others

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