Character Analysis

Iambic Pentameter or Prose?


Note that not all of act 1 is written in iambic pentameter. Which parts are in iambic pentameter, and which parts aren’t? Why might Shakespeare have used prose?

Keep in mind that “prose” refers to writing that does not follow a specific rhyming or rhythmic pattern. For example, this sentence (and all the ones that come before it) would be considered prose.

  • With a partner or in a small group, see if you can identify both where prose occurs and why you think Shakespeare might have decided to change his language.
  • Read the lines aloud if that will help you hear the differences in language better.

When you are ready, discuss your questions, observations, and theories with the class.