The University Wits were a group of professional playwrights in the sixteenth century who had graduated from Oxford and Cambridge universities. The growing popularity of drama and its secularization led to the emergence of this class of writers who then became the pioneers in the development of English drama. There were six University Wits---Thomas Lodge ,Thomas Kyd ,John Lily, Robert Green ,George Peele and Christopher Marlowe.
They were romantic by Nature and embodied the spirit of Renaissance. Most of them enjoyed a sound classical education and had a common store of material ----mythology, legend and history----from which they drew their stories. The University Wits were pioneers from whom Shakespeare could learn a lot. They shared the tastes of the public, but their education and talent enabled them to guide, purify and elevate these tastes. Together, they revolutionized English drama and made it a suitable medium for the expression of the genius and temperament of their age.
Thomas Kyd was an English dramatist, the author of “The Spanish Tragedy” , a University Wit and one of the most important figures in the development of English drama. He was born in 1558, six years before Shakespeare and Marlowe to Francis Kyd, a citizen and scrivener of London. In 1565, Kyd entered the Merchant Taylor’s School where Edmund Spenser and Thomas Lodge were at different times his schoolmates. No records indicate whether he matriculated from Oxford of Cambridge as did his fellow University Wits. It emerged clear, in any case, that Kyd emerged with a solid knowledge of Latin literature and fluency in French and Italian , as many of his compositions and translations indicate.
Thomas Kyd left...