feminine ending

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The ending of a metrical verse line on an unstressed syllable, as in the regular trochaic line. In English iambic pentameters, a feminine ending involves the addition of an eleventh syllable, as in Shakespeare's famous lineTo be, or not to be; that is the questionIn French, a feminine line is one ending with a mute e, es, or ent. A feminine caesura is a pause following an unstressed syllable, usually in the middle of a line. See also metre, stress.

Subjects: Literature.

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