without Rhyme, as that of Homer in
Greek, and of Virgil in Latin; Rhyme
being no necessary Adjunct to true
Ornament of Poem or good Verse, in
larger Works especially...”-- English poet John Milton in the preface to his epic Paradise Lost
Early blank verse: Early blank verse is very regular and thus monotonous: the cad-stopped lines with a pause after the second foot providing little substitution of other feet for the basic iamb. Marlowe, of course, improved it notably and in his hands the blank verse sounded with what is known as Marlovian Music. It was, however, left to Shakespeare to move in this verse from regularity to variety. He used various methods and devices to attain his objectives and the prominent among them are (a) use of enjambment or run-on lines. (b) Variation of the weight of the stressed syllables notably at the end of the line and (c) use of short lines. In fact, with these enjambment, Shakespeare imposes a secondary rhetorical rhythm on lime primary one of metre. The fact is discernible from his Love’s Labour’s Lost to the last of his romances.