Geoffrey Chaucer Writing Styles in The Canterbury Tales

This Study Guide consists of approximately 200 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Canterbury Tales.
This section contains 481 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Canterbury Tales Study Guide

The poetic meter, or rhythm, used throughout The Canterbury Tales is iambic pentameter. This means that each line is based on pairs of syllables, proceeding from one that would be unstressed in normal speech to one that is stressed. This pattern is called the iamb, and a poetic structure based on it is called iambic. When the English language is spoken, this pattern occurs naturally, so the rhythm of an iambic poem is hardly noticeable when read aloud. Because the lines generally have five iambs each, for a total of ten syllables per line, the rhythm is described as iambic pentameter—"penta" is the Greek word for "five."

Throughout The Canterbury Tales, lines are paired off into rhyming couplets, which means that each pair of lines has similar-sounding words that rhyme at the end. A poem that is written in iambic pentameter and has rhyming couplets is...

(read more from the Style section)

This section contains 481 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Canterbury Tales Study Guide
Copyrights
Poetry for Students
The Canterbury Tales from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.