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Prose & Verse.

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Presentation on theme: "Prose & Verse."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prose & Verse

2 The Bard was famous for his writing skills
He wrote in two different styles

3 Verse The first style would be for all the important characters. They would speak in verse. This would make the heroes more heroic, the baddies more evil and royalty more regal. He didn't have close-ups, or cool music. He used verse!

4 Verse A poem or piece of poetry
A succession of metrical feet written, printed, or orally composed as one line; one of the lines of a poem. Literature in metrical form

5 Shakespeare's plays are written in verse. This is poetry
Shakespeare's plays are written in verse. This is poetry. Most of it doesn't rhyme. But why bother? If you are dealing with massive events or serious emotions, you need a structure that allows you to sound serious. For instance, in the film 'Gladiator', at the beginning they are preparing for a massive battle. The hero is talking to his soldiers and says: "What you do in life echoes through eternity!"

6 That is inspirational, heroic and poetic. If he had said ...
"Okay, lads I want you to be very brave and fight well, because then you'll be famous heroes one day!" ... it doesn't have quite the same ring to it. Not inspirational, not heroic and definitely not poetic. Shakespeare uses poetry to inspire us, not put us off, and to make his characters almost larger than life. Bigger heroes, greater lovers, yet still human.

7 Prose The second style would be for everyone else, particularly if they are funny. This would be prose. It is easier to be funnier in prose than in verse. This is not to say that all the rich characters speak in verse and all the poor people speak in prose. That is not always true.

8 Prose Writing that resembles every day speech. Lacks structure
In Shakespeare’s plays, many of his poorer or lower class characters spoke in prose.

9 Blank Verse a type of poetry, distinguished by having a regular meter, but no rhyme. In English, the meter most commonly used with blank verse has been iambic pentameter. It is comprised of unrhymed lines all in the same meter, usually iambic pentameter. It was developed in Italy and became widely used during the Renaissance because it resembled classical, unrhymed poetry.

10 Iambic Pentameter “Iambic pentameter is a type of meter that is used in poetry and drama. It describes a particular rhythm that the words establish in each line. That rhythm is measured in small groups of syllables; these small groups of syllables are called 'feet'. The word 'iambic' describes the type of foot that is used. The word 'pentameter' indicates that a line has five of these 'feet'.” -Wikipedia

11 Definitions Penta- Means five Meter- to measure
Pentameter- Something measured in sets of five!

12 Example “If a pair of syllables are arranged in a short followed by a long, or an unstressed followed by a stressed, pattern, that foot is said to be 'iambic'. The English word 'trapeze' is an example of an iambic pair of syllables, since the word is made up of two syllables ("tra—peze") and is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable ("tra—PEZE", rather than "TRA—peze").” Wikipedia

13 Cont. “'Iambic pentameter', then, is a line made up of five pairs of short/long, or unstressed/stressed, syllables. If the short/long or unstressed/stressed pattern were to be reversed, producing a line of five pairs of long/short, or stressed/unstressed pairs, that line would be described as an example of trochaic pentameter. A trochee (DUM—de) is the opposite of an iamb (de—DUM).”

14 Examples “ Two households, both alike in dignity In fair Verona where we lay our scene” “O she doth teach the torches to burn bright “ “But soft what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!”

15 What do they have in common?
Each line has ten syllables!!!!!

16 Review! So you have lines that each have ten syllables, and you're describing the style by saying "something involving measuring by sets of five." Well, ten divided by two is five, right? Sometimes you have to split it right on a word, but hopefully you know what I mean. So now you have five sets of two syllables -- pentameter!

17 One More Thing… Now read them aloud one more time, and put a little emphasis on the second syllable. You don't have to over annunciate it, but try it out loud and you'll hopefully get the feeling for it. If it sounds silly, just do it for the first two syllables, and what will happen is you'll hear the rhythm in your head for the rest of the line even if you don't say it out loud.

18 Here we go! Two HOUSEholds, BOTH aLIKE in DIGniTY
o SHE doth TEACH the TORches TO burn BRIGHT but SOFT what LIGHT through YONder WINdow BREAKS?

19 Do you get it? Now is the time when I tell you that an "iamb" is two syllables where the second one is emphasized. Get it? You were just reading five sets of two syllables where the second syllable is emphasized. Iambic pentameter!

20 Stop and think! If the lines are in iambic pentameter (and many of the most famous ones are), you can expect ten syllables. They arranged so that you can put an emphasis on every other syllable and have it still sound right.

21 Try This Look what light through yonder window breaks?

22 Try putting it into the pattern that we know:
look WHAT light THROUGH yonDER winDOW breaks...

23 It does not fit because it is WRONG
Not only aren't there enough syllables, you just don't sound right where you're putting the emphasis. It's off by one syllable, actually.

24 Did you know all of Will’s sonnets are written in this style?
Twelve lines of alternating rhyming scheme (sometimes called ABAB, you'll see) followed by a "rhyming couplet" at the end. We will study a famous sonnet in class!

25 Are you excited?

26 Sources 1.Wikipedia,,

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