Why Shakespeare loved iambic pentameter - David T. Freeman and Gregory Taylor
While interesting to explore in his plays, the idea of Shakespeare as a poet isn’t new. He wrote many poems. Most famously, he penned 154 sonnets that are often as studied and celebrated as his plays. His sonnets feature a specific format that uses iambic pentameter to reflect great meaning and emotion in a short burst of verse. If it’s the words themselves that grab you, take a plunge down the rabbit hole of Open Source Shakespeare: a beautiful marriage of the bard and technology that allows you to search every poem and play Shakespeare ever wrote for individual words and phrases. Just how many times does the world “blood” show up in Macbeth? You’ve seen some of the similarities between Shakespeare’s meter and music. If all of this wordplay makes you want to get up on your feet and speak the words, you should research the English Speaking Union’s National Shakespeare Competition – an annual recitation competition featuring some of Shakespeare’s greatest speeches.
Related: William Shakespeare and Renaissance language
• William Shakespeare
• English literature & history