English: what is blank verse?

Tutoring English, blank verse is a term you might need to define. The tutor explains it.

Blank verse, in the traditional sense, is unrhymed iambic pentameter. (For an explanation of iambic pentameter, see my post here.)

In Shakespeare, members of the nobility typically speak in iambic pentameter, especially when delivering ideas that span many lines. The common people typically do not.

In Julius Caesar, Antony speaks in iambic pentameter at Caesar’s funeral (III,ii,116-135, for example).


Shakespeare, William. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Ltd., 1996.

Coles Notes: Literary Terms. Toronto: Coles Publishing, 2009.

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