Literary Term Blank Verse

Literary Term Blank Verse

Blank verse is unrhymed poetry written in iambic pentameter. Each line typically consists of ten syllables, with a pattern of unstressed and stressed syllables. This creates a natural rhythm similar to human speech. It’s been widely used in English literature, notably by poets like William Shakespeare in his plays, such as “Hamlet” and “Macbeth.” 


Some key features of Blank Verse: 

  • Meter: Blank verse consists of lines with ten syllables each. It follows an unstressed/stressed pattern (iambic meter). This creates a natural rhythm resembling normal speech.

  • No Rhyme Scheme: Unlike many other poetic forms, blank verse does not have a specific rhyme scheme. This absence of rhyme allows for a more natural flow of language and gives poets freedom in their expression.

Read More: Literary Term Soliloquy

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  • Flexibility and Naturalness: Blank verse offers flexibility in its use of language. It allows poets to compose lines that closely reflect natural speech patterns. It’s often used in long narrative poems, dramatic works (such as Shakespearean plays), and epic poetry.

  • Elevated Language: Despite its resemblance to everyday speech, a blank verse often employs elevated language, formal diction, and sophisticated imagery. This makes it suitable for conveying serious or grand themes.

  • Dramatic and Narrative Use: It’s frequently used in dramatic works, as it allows characters to express themselves in a poetic manner without the constraints of rhyme. Its flexibility makes it suitable for giving the depth of emotions and complexities in characters’ thoughts and actions.

  • Historical Significance: Blank verse gained popularity during the Renaissance era, particularly in English literature. It was used by renowned poets like William Shakespeare and John Milton.

Read More: Literary Term Epigram


Riya Akter
Riya Akter
Hey, This is Riya Akter Setu, B.A (Hons) & M.A in English from National University.


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