Language: Verse

Glossary of Poetic Terms

Rhythm and Meter in English Poetry

Rhythm: Iambic, Trochaic, (Spondaic), Anapestic, Dactylic

Meter: Trimeter, Tetrameter, Pentameter, Hexameter

Today we will consider the role played by verse in several representative plays:

HANDOUT: Verse Handout

  • Shakespeare’s Hamlet
  • Moliere’s Tartuffe
  • T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral
  • Goethe’s Faust
  • Edgar Lee Master’s Spoon River Anthology
Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Nunnery Scene
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
       For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
       That then I scorn to change my state with kings.


Twisted Insane: “I Hustle”