Guide to Literary Terms

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Couplet - a pair of successive lines of verse, especially a pair that rhymes, that are of the same metrical length, and form a single unit. The term is also used for lines that express a complete thought or form a separate stanza. Couplets are usually written in decasyllabic lines. A closed couplet is one that is logically and grammatically complete.

The word comes from the French diminutive of couple which was derived from the Latin copula, meaning “a band or bond.”

The form was first used by Chaucer in the Fourteenth Century. Tudor and Jacobean poets and dramatists used it as a variation of blank verse and to round off a...

(The entire section is 215 words.)