Shakespeare's Sonnets Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What is the meter in Shakespeare's "My Mistress Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun"?

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Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 is indeed, like his other sonnets, written in iambic pentameter: a regular metrical form in which there are five "feet" (a pair of syllables in which the first is unstressed and the second is stressed) in every line. This poem, however, offers an excellent example of the fact that iambic pentameter need not mean that each line slavishly follows its precedent in terms of rhythm and emphasis. While iambic pentameter usually means an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, repeated five times over the course of a line, there can be variations on this theme, as we find in this sonnet.

It is interesting that Shakespeare should...

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