Definitions

blank verse

blank verse

blank verse: see pentameter.

Unrhymed verse, specifically unrhymed iambic pentameter, the preeminent dramatic and narrative verse form in English. It is also the standard form for dramatic verse in Italian and German. Adapted from Greek and Latin sources, it was introduced in Italy, then in England, where in the 16th century William Shakespeare transformed blank verse into a vehicle for the greatest English dramatic poetry, and its potential for grandeur was confirmed with John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667).

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