The literary device “foot” is a measuring unit in poetry, that is made up of careworn and unstressed syllables. The burdened syllable is usually indicated by a vertical line ( while the unstressed syllable is represented by way of a cross ( X ). The mixture of feet creates meter in poetry. Later, those meters are joined for the composition of a entire poem. Therefore, a foot is the formative unit of the meter.
In poetry, there are various types of foot, every of which sounds differently. Some of the basic varieties of foot are given below:
Iamb: Combination of unstressed and harassed syllable – (daDUM)
Trochee: Combination of confused and unstressed syllables – (DUMda)
Spondee: Combination of harassed syllables – (DUMDUM)
Anapest: Combination of two unstressed and a careworn syllable – (dadaDUM)
Dactyl: Combination of careworn and unstressed syllables – (DUMdada)
Amphibrach: Combination of unstressed, confused and unstressed syllable – (daDUMda)
Pyrrhic: Combination of two unstressed syllables – (dada)
There are two varieties of meter, which are called rising meter and falling meter. Each type of meter uses a distinct form of foot. As the growing meters move from unstressed syllables to harassed ones, they particularly use iamb and anapest toes. On the contrary, the falling meters move from harassed syllables to unstressed ones, and frequently use trochee and dactyl toes.
Examples of Foot in Literature
Example #1: Twelfth Night (By William Shakespeare)
“If song be the food of love, play on;
Give me extra of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That stress once more! It had a death fall;
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound.”
This stanza is taken from William Shakespeare’s widely recognized play, Twelfth Night. It has been composed in iambic pentameter. To make it easy to understand the unstressed and burdened aggregate of syllables, the careworn syllables are given in ambitious font.
Example #2: King Lear (By William Shakespeare)
“And my poor fool is hang’d! No, no, no life!
Why need to a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou’lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never!
Pray you, undo this button: thank you, sir.
Do you spot this? Look on her, appearance, her lips,
Look there, look there …!”
This is yet another extract from Shakespeare’s another top notch play, King Lear. It is the ideal example of trochaic pentameter. This has the mixture of a harassed and unstressed syllable pattern – a pattern contrary to iambic.
Example #3: The Destruction of Sennacherib (By Lord Byron)
“The Assyrian came down like the wolf at the fold,
And his cohorts have been sparkling in pink and gold;
And the sheen in their spears became like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest whilst Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sundown were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, …
For the Angel of Death unfold his wings at the blast …
And their hearts but once heaved, and for all time grew still!”
This is a selection from Lord Byron’s poem, The Destruction of Sennacherib. It is certainly one of the first-class examples of anapestic pattern of foot. In particular, it follows a tetrameter pattern, which consists of four anapests in a line. In this choice, anapests were made bold. This entire poem follows the same pattern. In every foot, syllables are unstressed, at the same time as the 0.33 syllable is harassed.
Example #4: The Charge of the Light Brigade (By Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
“Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All inside the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.”
These lines had been taken from Lord Alfred Tennyson’s widely known poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. It is an terrific instance of the of use dactyl pentameter. The dactyl follows a sample of burdened, unstressed, and once more unstressed syllables. As it is an elegiac poem, it uses dactyl pentameter, which suits elegies. The meter in this verse features like a building block and presents a ordinary rhythm.
Function of Foot
The characteristic of foot is to offer the simple shape for the meter in a verse. As it's miles based totally on the mixture of either or 3 syllables, this aggregate creates musical rhythm. Therefore, it's far the use of ft that brings rhythm to poetry – the cause that poetry is differentiated from prose. Without the repetition of a particular foot in a verse, poetry could be no different from prose, as the essential elements of rhythm and musical exceptional may be missing in the absence of feet.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw