Robert Greene

   Robert Greene (1558-1592) was an English poet and dramatist, was born in Norwich. He took his degree of A.B. at Cambridge University in 1578 and A.M. in 1583. On leaving Cambridge he proceeded to London, where he supported himself by writing plays and romances. One of the latter, Pandosto: The Triumph of Time, supplied some of the plot of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. His best-known plays are The Honorable History of Friar Bocon and Friar Bungay (1594) and The Scottish History of James the Fourth (1598). He is equally well known for his "conny catching" pamphlets, in which he exposed the practices of the thieves and cheats of the London slums. After his death, appeared his singular pamphlet entitled A Groatswarth of Wit Bought with a Million of Repentame, in which he exposed his own career in vice and called on his friends to repent. The same pamphlet's description of a dramatist as "An upstart-crow, beautified with our Feathers," who "is in his owne conceit the only Shake-scene in a Countrey" is probably an allusion to Shakespeare.