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Meter in On Monsieur's Departure

Meter Examples in On Monsieur's Departure:

On Monsieur's Departure

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"Follows me flying..."   (On Monsieur's Departure)

The queen employs a deft metrical trick here, straying from the typical iambic pentameter. This line opens with a dactyl, a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. The rest of the line is composed of trochees, which are the opposite of iambs. The result is a line with a feverish pace, an urgent chase-like tone that fits the subject matter.

"turned..."   (On Monsieur's Departure)

The speaker constructs her poem in the style of traditional unrequited love poetry. The ABABCC sestet rhyme scheme and iambic pentameter mimic the Petrarchan sonnet which was popular at this time. However, while Queen Elizabeth’s form takes on the popular style, her theme is more complicated than simple subject of unrequited love that dominates the sonnet tradition.

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