Meter Meter • A foot is a unit of rhythm that, when repeated, makes up a verse (a line) • A foot = two syllables or three syllables • Syllables alternate stressed or unstressed • Virtually all English feet are based on unstressed/stressed (2) syllables (it is closest to their natural rhythm of speaking) • The ancient Greeks wrote their verse in stressed/unstressed/stressed syllables (3)
Meter Meter • Duple Meters (2-syllabled feet) • Iamb: unstressed/stressed (Shakespeare) ex: a-way; Ter-rease • Trochee: stressed/unstressed ex: Li-sa; Ja-son • Spondee: stressed/stressed ex: air-plane, sand-lot, Gin-ger
Meter Meter • Triple Meters (3-syllabled feet): • Dactyl: stressed/unstressed/unstressed (Greeks) Ex: Whim-si-cal; Jo-shu-a • Anapest: unstressed/unstressed/stressed Ex: in a hole; in the ground; • Amphibrach: unstressed/stressed/unstressed Ex: Toy-o-ta; Pa-go-da; Cor-rin-na; Ci-er-a
Meter Meter • Meter = # of feet per line (either duple or triple) • One foot: monometer • Two feet: dimeter • Three feet: trimeter • Four feet: tetrameter • Five feet: pentameter (Shakes) • Six feet: hexameter (Greeks)
Meter Meter A series of Iambs: • Shall I • Com-pare • Thee to • A sum- • -mer’s day (5 feet = pentameter) Shall I com-pare thee to a sum-mer’s day.
Meter Meter • A series of anapests: • By the fence • In a hole • In the ground • Was a bird (tetrameter) By the fence in a hole in the ground was a bird.