Oh yeah. I got carried away and forgot to mention a fairly important poet who comes in between Chaucer and Wordsworth.
All I really have to say about Shakespeare, at the moment, is that he set out, deliberately and with great ambition, to become the English Seneca and the English Terence.
What he succeeded in, almost accidentally, was becoming the greatest English poet and the greatest dramatic poet in the world. That was mostly the result of a strange magic between him and his audiences, I guess. He shot much higher than he aimed.
I know. We say, he wanted to be the English who? Who gives a damn about Seneca and Terence?
It just goes to show – something. I'm not sure what.