The University Wits were a group of well-educated scholars who wrote within the last years of the sixteenth century. All of them had been actively related to the theatre and the plays written by them, marked a pronounced stage of growth over the drama which existed before them. With their dramatic work they paved the way in which for the nice Shakespeare who was indebted to them in quite a few ways.
Who were the University Wits?
(1) John Lyly
(2) Robert Greene
(3) George Peele
(4) Thomas Lodge
(5) Thomas Nash
(6) Thomas Kyd
(7) Christopher Marlowe
They have been referred to as University Wits because that they had training at one or different of the 2 Universities-Oxford and Cambridge. They have been members of discovered societies and somewhat liberal of their views regarding God and morality. They have been all reckless Bohemians and had their lives cut short by extreme debauchery or a violent death. Marlowe was killed in a street fight, maybe over bought kisses, and Greene, after a profession of unfettered self-dissipation, died friendless and penniless and in a really touchingly repentant way of thinking. Further, of their intellectualism they have been true embodiments of the impression of the Renaissance on English tradition and sensibility.
Characteristics of University Wits:
There was a passion for heroic themes.
Heroic themes needed heroic treatment—there have been variety, splendid description, lengthy drawn speeches, violent incidents and emotion.
The writing style was additionally heroic. The chief goal was to attain robust and sounding lines. The finest instance is Marlowe. Marlowe is known for his use of blank-verse.
The themes have been normally tragic in nature for the dramatists have been as a rule an excessive amount of in earnest to present heed to what was thought-about to be the lower species of comedy. The basic lack of actual humour within the early drama is one among its most distinguished features. Humour, when it’s introduced in in any respect, is coarse and immature. The solely consultant of the writers of actual comedies is Lyly’. His Endymion and The Woman within the Moon give us the primary instance of Romantic comedy.
Contribution of University Wits to Drama:
Let’s first focus on the place of drama earlier than them, two traditions were adopted before the writings of university wits, particularly; native tradition, which was vigorous, no doubt’, however devoid of the creative self-discipline of he classical Greek and Roman drama. The other was the custom set by the imitators of historical Roman drama.
University Wits regarded to the classical drama and included its basic respect of form in their very own productions, they by no means imitated it slavishly. They retained for themselves ample freedom, typically even that of violating its properly acknowledged rules such as the strict separation of the species together with the three unities of drama. What they established upon the English stage was not a pale copy of the traditional Greek or roman drama, however a sort of romantic drama which was to be later adopted by Shakespeare himself.
Further, the University Wits set in regards to the work of reforming the language of the drama. They made the medium of dramatic utterance extraordinarily pliant and attentive to all the assorted moods endeavoured to be conveyed by it. Lyly adopted the language of comedy, particularly the prose, a splendidly refined touch, Peele gave it an uncommon sweetness, and Greene, appreciable geniality and openness. Blank verse grew to become Marlowe’s “mighty line.”
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