Thomas Nashe Drama Analysis
As a young man who chose to make his living as a writer, Thomas Nashe would almost certainly have tried his hand at drama. With the strong traditions of native English drama at his back, classical drama in his brain, and Renaissance hybrid drama daily before his eyes, Nashe could hardly have escaped the temptation to enter the field. His contributions to dramatic literature are not as plentiful as those to prose, nor perhaps as plentiful as he might have wished. Evidence indicates that Nashe participated to a greater or lesser extent in the writing of five plays.
Nashe’s first experience with drama probably occurred while he was at Cambridge. A contemporary of his wrote that Nashe “had a hand in a show called Terminus et non terminus,” but neither the play nor the extent of Nashe’s participation in it is known. The next reference connecting Nashe to drama was made by Nashe’s friend Robert Greene. In Greene’s Groatsworth of Wit Bought with a Million of Repentance (1592), Greene draws a comparison between Christopher Marlowe and “yong Iuvenall, that byting satyrist, that lastly with mee together writ a comedie.” Because Nashe had been closely associated with Greene and because he best fits the description that Greene gives, most scholars believe that Nashe is “yong Iuvenall.” Which of Greene’s plays received Nashe’s contribution is not clear, although some scholars offer A Knack to Know a...
(The entire section is 2536 words.)
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