Talk:Heroic verse

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From the first line of the article: 'The term is used in English exclusively.' That's not true, at least all latin languages use this term.

Possible text display problem[edit]

"the famous AvBbr rtpg5os of Homer" in the third paragraph seems to display incorrectly in Netscape and Internet Explorer. Or else I don't have a clue what "AvBbr rtpg5os" means. Jason3777 12:32, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

I made an attempt to restore it to how it appears in the 1911 Britannica. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:16, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

French verse[edit]

I am having problems with the line in the article: "In French the alexandrine has always been regarded as the heroic measure of that language." Throughout the middle ages, the "heroic verse" in French epic poetry was generally the 10 syllable line (the decasyllable), and indeed the 10 syllable line is still referred to in France as "vers héroïque". Could one of the poetry editors rewrite that section? Thanks. - NYArtsnWords (talk) 22:58, 14 August 2008 (UTC)


Milton, in his preface to the 2nd edition of Paradise Lost:

"The verse is English heroic without rhyme."

Something doesn't add up. The categorical statement that Paradise Lost is NOT heroic verse, then, needs moderation or clarification. I believe that the introduction to this article, although written in a stridently authoritative tone, is confusing the English heroic couplet with heroic verse. I am going to remove that categorical sentence, because it seems, on the face of it, more false than true, and therefore is not just a case of a "missing citation," or mere quibble. Ah, I see now this is from the old Britannica. However, that article seems highly problematic to me, if not downright prejudiced. I believe what Milton means is that each line simply has five stresses, unpatterned (that is, not to be scanned necessarily as iambs) and single lines therefore frequently contain an extra unstressed syllable. On the whole, in English, there is practically no difference between what we might simply call a "pentameter" (or even, more simply, a "decasyllabic") line and "heroic verse," as there is simply almost no other option (for an English verse epic), and even less sign of any other tradition. Richmond Lattimore, in his translations of the Homeric epics, went for a line with six stresses, pretty much regardless of syllable counts. This might be counted as a sort of blank English "Heroic" verse (albeit a sort of hexameter) as well. As a final point, English heroic verse may on the whole be unrhymed by defintion, as opposed to the "heroic couplets," which are, by definition rhymed. Thanks for listening, I just don't feel like sourcing all this stuff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

You're absolutely correct. One source candidate is the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics, which contains a number of other sources that disagree with the 1911 article. As an aside, I'm quite surprised at the amateur quality of the old Britannica article. (talk) 12:12, 3 October 2012 (UTC)