What Are Some Examples of Blank Verse in “Romeo and Juliet”?

An example of blank verse in William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is: “And, when he shall die, / Take him and cut him out in little stars, / And he will make the face of heaven so fine / That all the world will be in love with night / And pay no worship to the garish sun.” Another example of blank verse is: “How art thou out of breath, when thou hast breath / To say to me that thou are out of breath? / The excuse that thou dost make in this delay / Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.”

Shakespeare wrote in three types of text structure, which are known as rhyming verse, prose and blank verse. Blank verse has a defined rhythm, but the lines do not rhyme at the end, which increases their informality. Blank verse is used often in “Romeo and Juliet” because it is considered romantic due to its more relaxed, personable feel. Rhyming verse is similar to blank verse in that it has a defining rhythm, but it rhymes with the ends of the lines. Prose is simply a paragraph structure and uses regular text without a defining rhythm.

In “Romeo and Juliet,” there are 2,111 lines of blank verse in the Second Quarto. In fact, most of “Romeo and Juliet” is in blank verse. The rhythm in blank verse comes from the iambic pentameter. Henry Howard introduced blank verse to England in 1540.