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heroic couplet

noun, Prosody.
a stanza consisting of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter, especially one forming a rhetorical unit and written in an elevated style, as, Know then thyself, presume not God to scan / The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Origin of heroic couplet
First recorded in 1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for heroic couplet
Historical Examples
  • The heroic couplet, now too much derided, is a form of this kind.

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • He was able only to play on one instrument, the heroic couplet.

    The Age of Pope John Dennis
  • The poem does not prove Hill to be a poet, but it shows his command of the heroic couplet.

    The Age of Pope John Dennis
  • The heroic couplet in which it was cast was the standard metre.

  • They were dear to the eighteenth century, and, much more than the heroic couplet, are the distinctive metre of that age.

    Hearts of Controversy Alice Meynell
  • The use of the Alexandrine in the heroic couplet, he avers, gives variety and energy.

  • Monkhouse pointed out that Keats and Shelley, more than Hunt, reaped the rewards of his revivification of the heroic couplet.

  • The heroic couplet was practically unknown to us till Chaucer introduced it.

  • It owes its place to its sustained vigour, and the fact that the heroic couplet is in the hands of a master.

  • In the couplet of Keats, and of a number of his successors, we have a really different measure from the "heroic couplet" proper.

    English Verse Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.
British Dictionary definitions for heroic couplet

heroic couplet

(prosody) a verse form consisting of two rhyming lines in iambic pentameter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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