The Ohio State University. Department of English Honors Theses; 2009
Because horses were so vital to early modern culture, many pieces of early modern literature include references to them. While horses do sometimes take an active role in these works, most references to them are purely metaphorical. Horses, asses, and mules represent many different ideas, but the imagery generally relates to social status, power and control, or sexuality. It is impossible to assign one particular meaning to each equine, but their flexibility as symbols is what makes them so useful to authors.