Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Blank Verse

I asked my Shakespeare professor today if I could submit my final paper in blank verse. He cracked up and said, "Well, we've already come this far," which seemed strangely enough like a reference to how long he's been teaching. So he's letting me do it, but on one condition: That it be "excellent" blank verse...

What is this mysterious blank verse? Unrhymed iambic pentameter -- perhaps most famous for its appearance as the meter of the sonnet:
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
   And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
   As any she belied with false compare.

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