The Pentameter is an antique verse made of six embers. In principle, the pentameter consists of six dactyls (one elevation, two depressions), with the third and sixth dactyls both sinking. As a result, the third and fourth lifts in the pentameter immediately follow each other, which is referred to as the lift impact (→ offset).
The term can be derived from the Greek (pente ~ five, metron ~ measure) and thus translated into five dimensions. The translation of the word is, however, misleading, since the measure is made up of six lifts. It is therefore quite similar to the hexameter, although a metric is defined a bit more strictly. Let us now look at the structure. The elevations, depressions and the caesura (||) were marked.
– υ υ | – υ υ | – || – υ υ | – υ υ | – (Pentameter)
The above example shows that in the pentameter only two complete dactyls follow, the third is shortened, and consists only of a single elevation, followed by the caesura, and then repeating the whole. If a foot is incomplete, this circumstance is called catalectic, and when two elevations stand side by side, we speak of a heave impetus. Both are present.
What you hi | no not, || draw you never.
This verse comes from the Xenien, a joint work of Goethe and Schiller. In this case, the obvious construction of the pentameter is strictly adhered to: three dactyls, the last one-syllable being catalectic, the caesura with heave impingement, and again three dactyls, the last one-syllable remaining catalectic.
The ancient metric, however, counted five verses in the pentameter and not six, which also explains the name of the verse. This was most probably caused by a false measurement of the diarrhea, that is, the incision between two metres, and we must understand the pentameter as a union of two dactyls, a spondeus, and two anapsts, which would look like this:
– υ υ | – υ υ | – – | υ υ – | υ υ – |
Note: In German, however, the first variant has prevailed. However, there are still some special features that sometimes make it difficult to recognize the Pentameter at first sight. This is superficial in the Trochaeus and Spondeus, which are partly used.
Spondeus and Trochaeus in the Pentameter
The ancient verse is metric clearly defined. In order to prevent monotony, however, there existed at that time the idea of replacing some of the dactyls with the spondeus, a foot made of two stressed syllables. In German it is usually replaced by the Trochäus.
This means that it is basically permissible in the pentameter to replace the first and second dactyls, ie the two complete feet before the caesura, by spitting. However, the Spondeus is hardly to be imitated in German, since we emphasize a syllable more strongly when speaking. For this reason we omitted the Trochaeus, the sequence of a stressed and an unstressed syllable.
In the pentame ter, she falls melodically.
This example is the second line of a memory verse by Friedrich Schiller to illustrate the pentameter. If we look at the stressed and unstressed syllables, it becomes clear that a Dactylus has been replaced by a Trochaeus. Schiller immediately replaced the first verse. Nevertheless, the verse can be identified as a pentameter, for which the elevation is also characteristic.
Im Pen | tame ter | on it || she falls me lodisch he | rab.
– υ | – υ υ | – || – υ υ | – υ υ | –
Note: This means that it is important not to rash over the meter of a verse. If a continuous dactylus is found in one line, although the line was initially introduced with a trochus or spondeus, the line can nevertheless turn out to be a pentameter.
Distichon: Hexameter and Pentameter
The pentameter is found almost exclusively in the literature together with the hexameter. If a pair is formed from a hexameter and a pentameter, we call it a distichon. The distichon is especially typical of the epigram and the elegy.
The hexameter also consists of dactyls, which can also be replaced by spondee or trochaea. The last dactyl is shortened by a syllable in the hexameter, that is to say two-syllable catalectically, and thus unstressed, which is called a female cadence. However, the last footer can also be replaced by a spondeus and thus emphasized. The last syllable is therefore variable (→ Syllaba anceps).
– υ υ | – υ υ | – υ υ | – υ υ | – υ υ | – x
This line thus illustrates the basic structure. In the previous section, a verse by Friedrich Schiller was presented. This is the second part of a meridian which bears the title Distichon and is thus formed from a hexameter and a pentameter. Let’s look at the a