William Shakespeare

Heroic Couplet

A couplet refers to two lines of equal length that rhyme and that, together, form a complete thought. A heroic couplet is a couplet written in iambic pentameter, so that in each line an unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed syllable, for a total of ten syllables per line. The final two lines of Shakespeare’s sonnets are heroic couplets that often summarize the poem as a whole. Shakespeare also uses heroic couplets at the end of scenes, such as when Juliet says goodbye to Romeo at the end of Act Two scene two: “Good night! Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow / That I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.”