STRUCTUREThe Prologue fromGeoffrey ChaucerA heroic coupletiambic pentameterclosed,enjambment.

 The Canterbury Tales

 is a pair of rhyming lines written in . Each line has ten syllables of alternating stressed and unstressed syllables. Heroic couplets can be  which means the meaning is fully expressed in the two lines. If the meaning spills over into the following lines, the heroic couplet has  

In the following example, the couplet is closed.

Example: He was embroidered like a meadow bright

And full of freshest flowers, red and white.

In the following example, the couplet has enjambment:

Example: A medal of St. Christopher he wore

Of shining silver on his breast, and bore

A. Directions: Underline the couplets with enjambment.

1. He could make songs and poems and recite,

Knew how to joust and dance, to draw and write.

2. A saucy brace was on his arm to ward

It from the bow-string, and a shield and sword

3. And she was known as Madam Eglantyne.

And well she sang a service with a fine

4. Singing he was, or fluting all the day;

He was as fresh as is the month of May.

B. Directions: Select the couplets in the passage. Then, identify them as open or closed.

The smallest drop from falling on her breast.

For courtliness she had a special zest,

And she would wipe her upper lip so clean

That not a trace of grease was to be seen

Upon the cup when she had drunk; to eat,

She reached a hand sedately for the meat.

She certainly was very entertaining,

Pleasant and friendly in her ways, and straining

To counterfeit a courtly kind of grace,

A stately bearing fitting to her place,






Answer & Explanation
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