What is Iambic Pentameter?

Iambic pentameter means 'five iambic feet in a line'. 'Iambic' means a unit of rhythm with two syllables where the first is not stressed (U) and the second is stressed (S). 'Penta' means five. The iamb is the most common metrical foot in English poetry.

So, lines of poetry in which there five beats following unstressed syllables are called iambic pentameter lines. For example, the following lines are in iambic pentameter:
My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun
As any she belied with false compare.

Published on 23 Jan. 2014 by Kedar Nath Sharma

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