Abstract

abstract :

This essay uses Mary Wroth's poetic representation of the female body to explore the material intersections of early modern literature and science. Reading Wroth's poetry (Folger manuscript V.a.104) alongside representational practices employed by Renaissance anatomists, this essay argues that Wroth uses the materiality of her poetic pages to critique and respond to violent treatment of the female body in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English lyric conventions. Wroth's poetry is centrally concerned with how to represent, and thereby know, the female body on the poetic page. Consequently, readings of Wroth's manuscript need to account for how poetry and page work together to facilitate the reader's knowledge of Pamphilia. By drawing on early anatomical methods for translating fleshly body to flat page, this essay shows how Wroth's innovative use of the poetic page results in a new kind of encounter among writing, reading, and textual bodies. More broadly, this essay raises questions about how the material practices of Renaissance anatomical culture transformed relations between body and page.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3786
Print ISSN
1531-0485
Pages
pp. 1-35
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-14
Open Access
No
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