iambic pentameter

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Transcript iambic pentameter

Act I
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
I. After the humorous section of
puns in Act I, scene i, the tone
changes drastically in line 33 and
thereafter. Notice how hostile
Marullus becomes as the humor
II. Pay close attention to Marullus'
hostile question in line 34:
"Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?"
(II continued)
In this line, Shakespeare switches
from prose to iambic pentameter.
Up to this point, everyone’s lines
have been written in prose, which
simply means ordinary speech or
writing written in paragraph form,
as opposed to verse.
III. The tribunes, however, switch
to iambic pentameter. What,
exactly, does this mean?
III A. An iamb (the adjective is
"iambic") is an unstressed syllable
followed by a stressed one.
Note: The homograph “record” may be
pronounced two ways:
re-cord or re-cord
Mark the accents and circle the one that is an iamb.
III B. Now that we know what an iamb
is, we know that the pentameter must be
But what does the term pentameter
Penta means ____________.
Meter means _____________.
So iambic pentameter is a poetic
form consisting of ______ syllables per
line in pairs of ______—one
_______________ syllable followed by
an ________________ syllable.
IV. Here is Marullus’ quote from line 34.
Mark it with the accents for iambic
"Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?"
V. Now look at page 829 in the purple literature
books. Keeping in mind what we have just learned
about iambic pentameter, why is line eighteen
written in the following way?
Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
Shakespeare collapses the two lines of
text to get the ten syllables necessary for
iambic pentameter.
VI. Iambic pentameter becomes
blank verse when the poetry is
not written to rhyme.
VII. Now look at page 880 in the
book at Brutus’ monologue (lines
12-34). Is Brutus speaking prose
or blank verse in his monologue?
(Circle one.) How do you know?
His monologue is written in prose
because it’s in ¶ form and because
there are not ten syllables per
VIII. Turn the page to Mark
Antony’s monologue (p. 882).
Does he speak prose or blank
verse in his monologue?
Antony’s monologue is written in
blank verse because it’s in poetic
form and because there are
generally ten syllables per line.
IX. What can we infer from the
use of blank verse?
Shakespeare uses blank verse
when he wants to make a
character seem more intelligent or
more noble.
X. One last point: Why does
Mark Antony say “interréd”
instead of “interred”?
Shakespeare needed the extra
syllable to complete the line of
blank verse.
Using your glosses in your text,
decode the imagery Shakespeare
uses to have Flavius describe
Caesar and his relationship with
the commoners in lines 74-77.