Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In the sixteenth century as much as today, ideas about how poetry should sound shaped how poetry did sound. This article ventures an account of how Spenser meant his poetry to sound and how an astute reader of his time would have heard it, using the evidence implicit in his language and explicit in contemporary prosodic theory. The achievements of recent theoretical linguistics in describing English meter will play only a background role, on the understanding that Spenser's idiosyncratic prosody will often override what the history of the pentameter line in aggregate can tell us — just as our own idiosyncrasies as readers can override that history and those principles, or at least defy their predictions. Such is the scandal of historical prosody.

Keywords: poetry, English meter, prosody, language, prosodic theory

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.