Thomas Kyd

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Kyd or Kid, Thomas,

1558–94, English dramatist, b. London. The son of a scrivener, he evidently followed his father's profession for a few years. In the 1580s he began writing plays. His literary fame rests on The Spanish Tragedy (c.1586), which initiated an important Elizabethan dramatic genre—the revenge tragedy. Popular throughout the 17th cent., The Spanish Tragedy is notable for its exciting action, splendid rhetoric, and complex delineation of character. Kyd is believed by some scholars to be the author of an earlier version of Hamlet, which ShakespeareShakespeare, William,
1564–1616, English dramatist and poet, b. Stratford-upon-Avon. He is widely considered the greatest playwright who ever lived. Life
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 used as the basis of his play. In 1593, Kyd was accused of holding unorthodox religious and moral views; he was arrested and subjected to torture. Although he extricated himself by implicating his friend Christopher MarloweMarlowe, Christopher,
1564–93, English dramatist and poet, b. Canterbury. Probably the greatest English dramatist before Shakespeare, Marlowe, a shoemaker's son, was educated at Cambridge and he went to London in 1587, where he became an actor and dramatist for the Lord
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, his reputation was severely marred, and he died in poverty the following year.


See studies by A. Freeman (1967) and C. L. Barber (1988).

Kyd, Thomas


Born Nov. 6, 1558, in London; died there in 1594. English playwright.

Kyd was a representative of the “university wits” in Elizabethan drama. He is the author of The Spanish Tragedy (c. 1587), a work that is typical of the pre-Shakespearean “bloody drama.” Kyd’s influence, particularly on Shakespeare, reveals itself in the delineation of character through the development of the action.


The Works. Oxford, 1901.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, fase. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1943.
Bowers, F. T. Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy, 1587–1642. Princeton, 1940.
Rossiter, A. P. English Drama From Early Times to the Elizabethans. New York [1959].
Murray, P. B. Thomas Kyd. New York [1969].
References in periodicals archive ?
Erne, Lukas (2001) Beyond the Spanish tragedy: a study of the works of Thomas Kyd.
MacDonald R "New Research on the Dramatic Canon of Thomas Kyd.
En la obra original de Thomas Kyd, el mariscal es un personaje masculino que, de acuerdo a la version de Juliana Faesler, se convierte en mujer, interpretada precisamente por Diana Bracho a traves de un video que interactua de manera simultanea con lo que ocurre en el escenario.
The remarks reported by his associates Thomas Kyd and Richard Baines are a startling medley of scoffing at the low literary quality of the gospels, the possible homosexuality of Jesus, the delights of tobacco and pederasty, and the palpable absurdity of religion.
Set against the backdrop of London in 1593, pic presents a theatrical community in which Shakespeare is but one of several successful playwrights -- including Christoher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, Robert Greene and George Peele.
The revenge drama derived originally from the Roman tragedies of Seneca but was established on the English stage by Thomas Kyd with The Spanish Tragedie.
The centerpiece of The Inarticulate Renaissance is, without a doubt, the central chapter on Thomas Kyd, "Disarticulating Community: Nation, Law, History, and The Spanish Tragedy.
Four scenes in the play matched with the language in Shakespeare's earlier works but the remaining had nearly 200 matches with works of Thomas Kyd, best known for The Spanish Tragedy.
I must confess that I have a weakness for the Elizabethan period, and so I read and re-read the section on Christopher Marlowe and the ill-fated, immensely influential Thomas Kyd, who died from injuries inflicted by torture during his relationship with Kit Marlowe.
By linking court interludes, neoclassical university tragedies, and popular plays by Christopher Marlowe, John Lyly, Thomas Kyd and William Shakespeare to the topic of Tudor marriage, Winkleman (literature, Johnson State College, Vermont) demonstrates drama's centrality to this controversial subject.
Given his crucial role in the development of English tragedy, Thomas Kyd has fared poorly both critically and in the theatre.
Scholarly interest in Thomas Kyd, best remembered today for The Spanish Tragedy, started late.