The Upstart Crow!

Jack of all trades, master of none

I came across this phrase and was toying with it since morning. I wondered about its origin and who might have framed it. Who else better than Google to answer my question.. So after a li’l googling, I came across some very interesting facts which I wish to share. I say interesting because it relates to a very popular literary figure. For those who are curious, this is how it goes…

Back in the late 16th century, there was a very popular English author called Robert Greene who had apparently authored scores of literary works.

Enter William Shakespeare – author, poet, playwright and actor. He shot to fame in the literary world, first as an actor who slowly started writing plays and poems which are masterpieces even today. Greene did not trust ‘actors’ because they stole the show, became heroes in the eyes of public and handsomely paid. On the other hand, authors were beginning to get ignored and did not receive their worth even as a lack of copyright laws belittled their work.

Groatsworth
Source: Wikipedia

So, in 1592, when Shakespeare was in his late 20s, Greene penned ‘Groats-worth of Witte, bought with a million of Repentance‘ in which he attacked Shakespeare for being a Jack of all trades (and master of none).   Greene referred to Shakespeare as the ‘upstart crow‘ in his works, a title which remains associated with him.

Greene left for his heavenly abode that same year (1592) and Shakespeare went on to create history as we know it today.

 Now you know all about the ‘The Upstart Crow’! 😀


Disclaimer: None of this research is mine. This information is merely a brief compilation. All credits go to the respective owners and all rights remain with them. You can visit the websites directly for more extensive info:

  1. Wikipedia – Robert Greene
  2. Wikpedia – William Shakespeare
  3. Literarygenius.info
  4. phrases.org.uk
Advertisements

5 thoughts on “The Upstart Crow!”

    1. Well thanks for the compliment! This blog is literally random and 100% non-commercial. Though I must admit that it is tempting to earn a quick buck!
      Thanks for reading. Keep visiting!

      Like

Feel free to share your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s