Verse form is a substantial part of poetry, so without studying versification our knowledge of a literature and its history is incomplete. Versification is an essential component of English Renaissance drama. Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Caroline playwrights put much effort into composing their works in verse, so there must have been more purpose to their pains than merely complying with a tradition. The form of verse is not just a symbol of poetry; it adds to what is expressed in the texts. Here are two illustrations. The first example: verse form helps us to understand and interpret dramatis personae. Shakespeare opposes his characters not just by assigning verse to kings and prose to clowns; Shakespeare’s noble heroes speak in constrained verse, and villains speak in looser verse. Othello gradually changes from a noble hero to a villain, and his syntax and verse form evolve with his character’s evolution (Tarlinskaja 1987a, Chapter 4). A second example: English poets emphasize important features of the content with the help of accentual “deviations” from the prevailing iambic rhythm ta-TA-ta-TA-ta-TA… “Deviations” that emphasize meaning, called rhythmical italics (see below) work not unlike onomatopoeia. They accompany and accentuate what is expressed in the line, e.g., Claps her pale cheek, till clapping makes it red (Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, 469)1 instead of something more “iambic”: He claps her cheek… And these are just two possibilities of how verse form can enrich verse semantics.