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Rudyard Kipling Writing Styles in If

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of If.
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Style

Iambic Pentameter and Rhyme

"If" is written in iambic pentameter, a form readers of Shakespeare will be familiar with, as the bard most often wrote in this style. Iambic pentameter consists of lines of five "feet" (two-syllable units) formed from an initial unstressed syllable and a second stressed syllable, as in the word "because." The eleven-syllable lines each end with an extra, unstressed syllable.

The poem is also written in four stanzas of eight rhyming lines, according to the pattern abab cdcd. "If" takes its name from the repetition of the word "if" at the start of the "a" and "c" lines, each of which comprise eleven syllables. The "b" and "d" lines each contain ten syllables.

Didacticism

The main aim of "If" is to instruct a young man in what Kipling considers the virtues of model leadership and exemplary manhood. To serve an instructive end, the poem has...

(read more from the Style section)

This section contains 470 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our If Study Guide
Copyrights
If from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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