Mark the syllables, separate the feet with short vertical lines, and indicate the rhyme scheme of Ode on a Grecian Urn. 

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jk180's profile pic

James Kelley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

The previous poster is correct, of course, about the meter. The overall meter is iambic pentameter. “Pentameter” means that there are five metric feet per line (“penta-“ means five, as in pentagram or Pentagon).

Here’s how to find the meter:

1. Break up each line into syllables. Some words may have multiple syllables, of course. I’ll work with line 2 in the excerpt:

thou shalt re main in midst of o ther woe

2. Put a mark above each stressed (accented) syllable. (I’ll use bold here instead, because I have a hard time getting things to line up in an online post.) Stresses can be found by reading the line slowly and noting the syllables that get a little more emphasis that the other syllables.

thou shalt re main in midst of o ther woe

3. Put a short vertical line between each metric foot. The most common metric foot in English is iambic (an alternation of unstressed and stressed syllables), so that’s the first type of meter to try out. If it doesn’t work, you’ll need to explore other metric feet. Iambic fits very well here:

thou shalt | re main | in midst | of o | ther woe

4. Repeat this process for each line in the excerpt. You may find that lines 1 and 4 are not quite as regular as the other lines.

The rhyme scheme identified in the previous post may not be entirely correct. I would identify the rhyme scheme in this excerpt as ABAXB.  X is used here to signal an end rhyme that doesn’t occur again in the excerpt.

tpbarran's profile pic

tpbarran | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Iambic pentameter, - '/- '/- '/- '/-'/

Rhyme scheme ABABCDECDE  (only masculine rhymes)

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