Numme Feete: Meter in Early Modern England
Early Modern Literary Studies 7.1/ Special Issue 8 (May, 2001)
This paper investigates early modern English rhetorical manuals, private letters, book prefaces and academic treatises that affirm the importance of meter as both an aurally and physically affecting phenomenological experience and a crucial participant in the ideologically-bound codes signaling the economic, moral, and racial status of both subjects and objects. Consequently, the paper explores meter in theory, now and then, with special attention given to re-examining conventional writings that depict the effects of rhythm on the body and the relation of poetic form to the politics of cultural identity. The ultimate goal is to articulate, provisionally, a new theoretical and historical contextualization of early modern prosody.