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Iambic pentameter

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Iambic pentameter is the most common meter in English verse. Each line consists of ten syllables in groups of two with the accent on every second syllable. As with other meters, each group of syllables is called a foot. There are five feet in this meter, hence it is a pentameter, from the Greek for five. The unit of rhythm is unstressed followed by stressed, called an iamb. Iambic pentameter lends itself well to the English language and can be seen in the verse of writers from Chaucer to William Shakespeare to more modern poets.