Short note on University Wits
Question: Write a short note on ‘University Wits’.
The term ‘University Wits‘ is applied to a group of English Scholars who flourished in the Elizabethan age (1558-1603) under the influence of the Renaissance. The group was more or less constituted of some University scholars, highly cultivated literary figures who took writings as a profession.
Introduction to ‘University Wits’ and contribution
They were associated with the University of Cambridge and Oxford particularly. The galaxy of the university consists of minor planets like Thomas Kyd, John Lyly, George Peele, Robert Greene, Thomas Lodge, Thomas Nashe revolved around Christopher Marlowe, the central sun. They possess a special significance and they exerted a direct influence upon Shakespeare (1564-1616). They were romantic in their attitude and represented the spirit of the Renaissance.
John Lyly (1554-1606) contributed to the formation of English comedy. ‘The Woman in the Moon’, Galatea and Midas’ and Mother Bombie’ is his famous plays.
George Peele (1556-1596) was a translator, poet, and dramatist. His famous works are ”The Chronicle of King Edward I”, ”The Battle of Alcazar” and ”The Old Wives’ Tale” etc.
Thomas Kyd (1558-1594), the author of ”The Spanish Tragedy” has influenced the development of Elizabethan drama.
Robert Greene (1558-1592) was much popular in his days. ”Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay” as well as ”Orlando Furioso” were his greatest popular success.
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Thomas Nashe (1567-1601) is deliberated the greatest of the English Elizabethan pamphleteers. He is best known for his novel ”The Unfortunate Traveller” in English literature.
Thomas Lodge (1558-1625) was a famous playwright and his famous plays were ”A Looking Glass for London” and ”The Wounds of Civil War”.
Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) was one of the most striking figures of the English Renaissance and the true founder of the popular English Drama. He has left behind powerful tragedies like ”Doctor Faustus”, Tamburlaine”, ” The Jew of Malta”, ”Edward II” etc.
In conclusion, we can say that these wits contributed greatly to the history of English literature and the development of English drama.