Who were the University Wits and what is their significance in English literature?

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The University Wits were a group of six writers of the late 1500s who set about to transform drama on the English stage. They were all university educated (hence the name). It has been observed that their contributions were significant:

They brought new coherence in structure, and real wit and poetic power to the language.


The writers who made up this group included John Lyly, Thomas Lodge, Christopher Marlowe, Robert Greene, Thomas Nashe, and George Peele. All of them, except for Christopher Marlowe and George Peele, wrote prose in addition to plays and poetry. Individually and as a group, they exerted a strong influence upon William Shakespeare's work, as well as the works of other playwrights of his time. The University Wits loved language and took great joy in displaying their literary talents.

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