Robert Greene

Robert Greene

About Robert Greene

Robert Greene (July 8, 1558 in Norwich – September 3, 1592 in London) was a famous english poet and writer in his time, and currently best known for a posthumous pamphlet attributed to him, Greene's Groats-Worth of Wit, widely believed to contain an attack on William Shakespeare. He studied the Arts at the University of Cambridge (1575 Bachelor) and Oxford (Master of Arts). After successfully completing his studies, he undertook an extensive cavalier tour, during which he traveled to France, Italy and Switzerland.
He wrote prolifically: from 1583 to 1592 he published more than twenty-five works in prose, becoming one of the first authors in England to support himself with his pen in an age when professional authorship was virtually unknown. Greene's literary career began with the publication of a long romance, Mamillia, entered in the Stationers' Register on 3 October 1580. Written around 1590, his comedy Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay was a great success. Still regularly staged in England today, this play remains the best example of Robert Greene's theater and caustic humor. Although Greene's literary work has been repeatedly reprinted or staged, it's only his Pandosto (1588) that has survived. This work served as a template for William Shakespeare's Winter's Tale. He made a living by writing and wrote numerous pamphlets and books hoping to please the public, including a treatise on cardsharps (The art of Conny-Catching 1591, 1592), five plays and a history book The Scottish History of James IV.
Greene's romances were written in a highly wrought style which reached its highest level in Pandosto (1588) and Menaphon (1589). Short poems and songs incorporated in some of the romances attest to his ability as a lyric poet. One song from Menaphon, Weep not my wanton, smile upon my knee, (a mother's lullaby to her baby son), enjoyed immense success, and is now probably his best-known poem.
Robert Greene died in London on September 3, 1592 at the age of 34.

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