The Heroic Couplet at a Glance

Heroic Couplet: What is it?
A rhyming pair of lines

Heroic Couplet: What is the meter?
Iambic pentameter, may also be tetrameter

Heroic Couplet: What is the structure of a pentameter couplet?
It has 10 syllables with alternating stresses

Heroic Couplet: What is the rhyme scheme?

Heroic Couplet: What is special about the form?
Used to write about high subject matters and to translate epic poetry from Latin or Greek

Heroic Couplet: How does it work?
By adapting the old Chaucerian line and allowing a strong pause or caesura in the middle of the line

Heroic Couplet: Where does the caesura usually come?
After the 5th or 6th syllable

Heroic Couplet: When was it used?
16th, 17th, and 18th centuries

Heroic Couplet: What kind of poetry was it used for?
Epigrammatic and satirical poetry