Term Tuesday A study of literary and rhetorical devices Heroic couplet Definition Heroic couplets are lines of iambic pentameter that rhyme in pairs (aa, bb, cc). The couplet forms a rhetorical unit; it is written in an elevated style In class example Know then thyself, presume not God to scan The proper study of Mankind is Man. Historical Background Though this verse form was introduced into English by Chaucer in the fourteenth century, its name derives from its use in seventeenth-century "heroic" (epic) drama and poetry. Why is it called heroic? by the middle of the seventeenth century it was regarded as the proper form for dealing with "heroic" subjects--deeds of high accomplishment and matters of public interest and admiration. Dominance of the form For 150 years (1630’s—1780’s), the heroic couplet was the dominant verse form in the English language never has any single poetic form before or since dominated the English language so insistently and so thoroughly Literary Example In Wit, as Nature, what affects our hearts Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts; `Tis not a lip, or eye, we beauty call, But the joint force and full result of all. Pope’s “Essay on Criticism” Personality of heroic couplets I am heroic couplets; most precise And fond of order. Planned and structured. Nice. I know, of course, just what I want; I know, As well, what I will do to make it so. This doesn't mean that I attempt to shun Excitement, entertainment, pleasure, fun; But they must keep their place, like all the rest; They might be good, but ordered life is best. Pope’s translation of the ILLIAD On the plumed crest of his Boeotian foe The daring Lycon aim'd a noble blow; The sword broke short; but his, Peneleus sped Full on the juncture of the neck and head: The head, divided by a stroke so just, Hung by the skin; the body sunk in dust. ... Write your own Write a heroic couplet about your hero on an epic journey Mrs. O’Brien’s Heroic couplet U / U / U / U / U / The Pyranees Lance Armstrong triumphed o’er. U / U / U / U / U / To be a part of famous biking lore.