So, in the Renaissance English drama does not exist without poetry, but there poetry without drama. We now call Shakespeare a playwright and a poet, making no distinction between these two concepts. In his time it was not the same. The position of the poet and playwright in the public opinion was different. If now the value of Shakespeare is primarily determined by his great achievements in the dramatic art, in the eyes of his contemporaries was paramount poetry. Shakespeare himself, as far as we can tell, is not really appreciated what I wrote for the theater.
Deaf hints in the sonnets (28 and 29) give reason to think that Shakespeare considered his work for theatre lower activity. Literary theory of the Renaissance recognized only those truly poetic drama, which was written in accordance with the rules of Aristotle and the model of Seneca and Plautus. As the popular drama set in a public theater, these requirements are not answered, it was considered as if standing outside of a large literature, and in the treatises of the XVI century on the poetics of the drama of Marlowe, Shakespeare and others is not taken into account. Even the popularity of the plays of the public theater staged the drama as a reproach, because literary theory was considered true poetry only works intended for a select audience, consisting of scientists connoisseurs.
In that era poetry had its own ethics, which bore the stamp of a certain kind of gentility. Poetry was seen as a free work not associated with material benefits. It is characteristic that the first poets and humanists of the English Renaissance - Wyatt, Surrey, Sidney, were aristocrats. Poetry was for them a high class, exercise the mind, a means of expressing thoughts and moods in a sophisticated art form, and his works they were intended only for a narrow circle of connoisseurs of poetry. It required knowledge and implied readers awareness of the subtleties, the effects of which were carefully calculated. Needed to know the mythology, steady poetic symbols, the interpretation is different to those other poets, without which neither the idea nor the poetic merits of the works were not clear.
From the middle ages poetry Revival also inherited the tradition of dedicatory poems of high-ranking officials. That sure was some nobleman or lady friend, to which treat his work the poet. If humanistic ethics rejected the work, intended for wide circles of readers, on the other hand, she accepted the patronage. To patronize poets was considered a sign of enlightenment. Lords of the Renaissance were engaged in philanthropy if not for the love of poetry, at least for the sake of maintaining decorum. Evaluation of poetic works to a certain extent even determined by the height of the position of the person who was dedicated to poetry.
Sometimes the poets who formed the circle, grouped around some of the nobles who patronized them, vied for its location. Illustration of this can serve as some of Shakespeare's sonnets (see sonnets 78-86), where he writes about competing with him the poets and especially about one that surpassed him in praising the noble other. Rival Poet, whose verse is like the "mighty noise of the sails", won the noble patron of poetic flattery. Shakespeare defends it, saying that if his poetry lacks the big words, only because the power and depth of his feelings do not require special decorations.
However, as we shall see, the poems that Shakespeare dedicated to his patron, is not so simple in their expressive means, as it is probably not without some coquetry claims.
Although aristocrats often gave gifts to the poets for the dedication of money, however in principle it was believed that the fruits of poetry "do not sell". They can bring as a gift, but you can't make the book market. However, the spread of printing affected and poetry. Began to appear publications of poetry. This began with the collection released by the publisher Tottenham in 1557. At first, benefit from it only printers and booksellers, extracting a list of poems and producing them into light. Even those poets who themselves publish their poems, did not expect income from this. In short, although the book already has become a commodity market, poetry has not yet become them. And for plays theaters pay playwrights. The income from them was small, but still it was the work for sale.
In the vast world of Shakespeare, his poems and sonnets occupy a separate area. They are an Autonomous province with its own laws and customs very different from those that are inherent to the drama. Plays Shakespeare wrote for the General public, for the common people, for the crowd, sure that literary fame it will bring.
If he asked how he can prove that she is a poet, his plays, he would not have led to the confirmation. The right to this high title was given only to poetical works, belonging to recognized genres of literature.
To err who think that Shakespeare really was so cocky. We quoted the sonnet represents not that other, as a variation on the famous poem of Horace which is and Pushkin. "I have erected a monument". We will see later that in the literal sense should not be understood, none of the sonnets.
The judgment of Apollo plays at the expense of going. That's why, uttering the poem "Venus and Adonis", Shakespeare in the dedication calls it "the first-born of his imagination", that is your first work. In light of the above, this does not mean that the poem was written earlier plays, but that Shakespeare did not bring them to a large literature, Dating his accession to the called a poem.
The two poems Shakespeare dedicated to a noble person - Earl of Southampton. Servile language of the dedications would be misinterpreted as a manifestation of the plebeian kowtowing to the nobility. Shakespeare was just following the custom of all the compliments upon at Southampton, it follows that he assumes as the ideal lover of poetry, which is focused on the poets. All this was in full conformity with the aristocratism of the humanistic culture of the Renaissance.
Not only these external features distinguish the poem from the drama of Shakespeare. Poetic works written in a completely different spirit than plays. Of course, the author they one and the same and the same is the view of life that underlies all the works. However, writing poems. Shakespeare came from other artistic principles than those which he followed when creating plays.
Whatever imperfections we found in dramas, are written at the same time with the poems, there is no doubt that in the plays felt the breath of true life. They boil real human passion, the struggle and the world as the movement of human lives. Some rise, others fall, happiness and misfortune alternate, and, no matter how incredible the situation of the actions, the people we see in dramas, - real human characters.
In the poems, everything looks different. Real life and movement in them, the conventional characters and the whole situation kind of greenhouse. And this is so not only in two great poems, but in the greater part of the sonnets.