This chapters addresses structural and formal links between poetry and drama as well as the soul as inner space and immortal self that takes its origin in a religious context but then contributes to the development of inwardness and psychology during the early modern period. The soul provides a link between poetry and drama as it goes through several stages (during its life on earth) that can be linked to the theatrical stage and the theatrum mundi metaphor. The soul as an entity that is self-perceptive is performatively brought to the fore in the soliloquy that becomes a soul-talk and sole-talk in early modern English poetry and drama. In the poetry of Shakespeare and Donne, the drama of the soul is enacted in various ways, which makes their poems expressive of interior states.
This chapter pinpoints 27 December 1601 as the date of the first performance
of Twelfth Night – and demonstrates that Shakespeare wrote his play for two
audiences, one at Elizabeth’s Court, the other at the Inns of Court.