n Shakespeare in Southern Africa - : Shakespeare and the snipers

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-582X



Addressing himself ostensibly "To the Gentlemen Students of Both Universities" in 1589, Thomas Nashe sneered (in print) at writers whom he called "deepe read Grammarians ... hauing no more learning in their scull, than will serue to take up a commoditie; nor Art in their brain, than was nourished in a seruing mans idlenesse" (Nashe [A], cited in Sams 213). Alleging that such despicable hacks "feed on nought but the crummes that fal from the translator's trencher", Nashe - a Cambridge man - spewed out contempt at poets and playwrights who, like Shakespeare and Thomas Kyd, were not university graduates. He reserved his choicest insult for those who "busie themselves with indeuors of Art, that could scarcely Latinize their neck-verse if they should haue neede".

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