It would have been difficult for Shakespeare to become accepted as a writer
Playwrights were not seen as literary experts. A poet was highly acceptable and viewed as educated intellectuals - Playwrights were not!
Shakespeare had not attended University
Shakespeare was not a Courtier and neither did he come from a noble family
He had worked as an actor which would not have enhanced his reputation as a Poet, which would have been important to him
His work as a Playwright would not have seemed so important other than in financial terms
He was looked down upon by some of his contemporaries and criticised publically in Greene's Groatsworth of Wit in which he was referred to as an "Upstart Crow"
Shakespeare had a patron, a man of prominence who would support the young writer in his poetic works
His patron was Henry Wriothesley who was Third Earl of Southampton (1573-1624)
Shakespeare published his poem Venus and Adonis on April 18th 1593. The poem was dedicated to Shakespeare's patron, the Earl of Southampton
The dedication refers to the author's "unpolisht lines" and contains the typically fawning language of a commoner who hopes to gain more favour by dedicating the poem to a courtier
The poem was an artistic success!
But Shakespeare went on to concentrate on Plays rather than Poetry. Perhaps the financial rewards were more potent that artistic praise ( Poems for Show - Plays for Dough!) And Shakespeare did become very rich through his work in the theatres
But there were considerable risks associated with this choice of career
A Playwright could prove to be a dangerous occupation!
Thomas Kyd, a fellow playwright was arrested on charges of writing a slanderous play. He was tortured and brande with hot irons before he was released
Kyd implicated the famous playwright Christopher Marlowe in relation to accusations of Heresy and Atheism
Marlowe was summoned to appear before the dreaded Star Chamber but died suddenly (and mysteriously). It has been said that he faked his own death rather that appear before the Star Chamber
Playwrights often used a pseudonym, or an alias, to conceal their true identity
Some Playwrights did not publish their plays. They sold their work to the theatre for a 'one-off' payment and the theatre arranged for publication
William Shakespeare never authorised the publication of any of his plays during his lifetime!
William Shakespeare never claimed authorship of his plays during his lifetime!
The majority of Shakespeare plays were first published in the First Folio, seven years after his death, in 1623!
Details of first known dates can be found in Publication of Shakespeare Plays and Performances of Shakespeare Plays