A stanza of four lines, especially one having alternate rhymes.
- The play is written in verse which varies between alternately rhyming quatrains and stanzaic form, the effect being lyric rather than dramatic.
- We hear iambs, trochees, Virgil's hexameters, the Norse alliterative lines, each arranged in their various couplets, quatrains, choric stanzas, gnomic verses, and much more besides.
- By the time he has finished the first stanza, this is the form he seems to have chosen: a three-stress-per-line stanza of four lines, a quatrain in which the second and fourth lines rhyme.
Late 16th century: from French, from quatre 'four'.
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