Thomas Kyd

Shakespeare's inspiration

When was he born and where did he live?

Thomas Kyd was born November 06, 1558 in London, England. He lived there his whole life.

Life as a child and as an adult

He received education at the Merchant Taylor's school. As an adult, he mainly worked as a scribe until he became a playwright. He lived with Christopher Marlowe. At some point in his life, he was charged with papers being found in his possession of an "atheist" nature, he said that the papers belonged to Christopher Marlowe, nevertheless, he was thrown in jail for months.

Who were the patrons of his art?

His patrons were Ferdinando, they were the patrons of Lord Strange's Men. They funded most of his plays.

What was his most famous piece of art?

The Spanish Tragedy, a play revolving around the death of a powerful and wealthy Spanish man, and the vengeance taken on his murderers. The play was created sometime between 1583and 1589.
This play is the first known “Tragedy of blood”, this play is considered one of Shakespeare main influences in his own play of this genre, such as Hamlet or Titus Andronicus. This play interests me because I enjoy Shakespeare's tragedies, and this play is interesting as it was one of his major influences. The play is collected in books today, and can be read on Project Gutenberg at

What "-isms" are he most connected to?

1. Humanism, because he believed humans could solve problems with logic and reasoning rather than religion and tradition, as evident in The Spanish Tragedy.
2. Capitalism, because he had patrons who helped him fund his plays.