Gascoigne was a pioneer in English Renaissance literature. A resourceful innovator, he was among the first English writers to use such literary forms as the prose comedy, verse tragedy, verse satire, novel, and critical essay. Gascoigne's The Supposes (1566) is the oldest existing English prose comedy, and his Jocasta (1566) is the second oldest English tragedy in blank verse.
Gascoigne also wrote The Adventures of Master F. J. (1573), which has been called the first English novel. His satiric poem The Steele Glas (1576) was the first original English poem, other than a verse drama, to be written in blank verse. Gascoigne also wrote fine lyric poetry.