In his essay, "The Defense of Poesy" Sir Philip Sidney defends poetry against its attackers and put poetry in an advantage over philosophy. Sidney emphasized the importance of the role of the poet and poetry and their moral values. He creates a comparison between the poet and the prophet, and between the poet and divinity. Sidney mentions in his essay that the origin of the word "poet" comes from Greek and it means "creator". Man, who is part of God creation, can create and has the spirit of God and part from divinity, when the poet writes a poet he creates a world; he invents a story by borrowing a notion of pictures, but he is not a liar because he doesn''t represents reality, he just gives an educational service to the public. For Sidney poetry is imitation, but it brings the truth to the people by the use of that pictures and imitation (i.e.: Allegory), poetry is the link between the real world and the ideal world, and by creating his poetry the poet takes part of being divinity, because he also creates in the same way our world was created by the Lord.
In his essay, Sidney deals with the conception of "wit". He claims that "…our erected wit maketh us know what perfection is, and yet our infected will keepth us from reaching unto it." The "erected wit" defined by Spencer as the smartness of the poet, a divine quality and perfection, if you are blessed with the erected wit you can be the perfect poet. But, the human mind has grown disorderly since the original sin of our primal ancestors, and therefore intellect, reason and sense is no longer function in the human mind in the right way as God intended it to. The "erected wit" has been faded since that sin into the "infected will", the deformity that original sin has caused the human mind. Spencer divides the human wit to five senses: imagination, common sense, fantasy and judgment, and all these five senses are the perfect elements to have the perfect wit and to be able to create and understand the perfect poetry, because that wit helps us to distinguish between feelings and thoughts.
This erected wit is the perfection that Adam and Eve had known before they committed the original sin.
"The Defense of Poesy" was written as a response to other criticism and attacks over poetry and poet. This was typical for the renaissance scholars, living in an era when people doubted other doctrines and philosophies. In that era we witness the use of poetry to expand men''s thought toward other directions and religious doctrines and the doubt in the old and traditional world order. When Sidney claims that "erected wit" was faded because of the original sin he actually means that the Roman Catholic Church has blinded our mind by causing us to see things in the way they want us to see by feel guilty for this primal sin, but poetry can free us from that bondage. Throughout that era we can see that poets and authors wrote in a different and a brand-new way, bringing the new thought of the renaissance. Edmund Spencer, in the "Letter to the Author", writes about the new style of writing and the use of allegory, and even though allegory was not common in that time, he writes about the importance that the poet has over the historian. "The Faerie Queen" is a vivid example for the use of allegory to bring his ideas and way of thinking, and his doubts in old Christian doctrines. We can also find the poetry of Donne and Herbert where they praise divinity and their desire to be close to it and a part of it, and they also write to God and talk to him and personifying him, an approach that was not common before.