Thomas Heywood

16th/17th-century English playwright, actor, and author (1574–1641)

Thomas Heywood (early 1570s – 16 August 1641) was a prominent English playwright, actor and miscellaneous author whose peak period of activity falls between late Elizabethan and early Jacobean theatre.


  • The world’s a theatre, the earth a stage
    Which God and Nature do with actors fill.
    • Apology for Actors, (1612). Compare: "The world's a stage on which all parts are played", Thomas Middleton, A Game of Chess (1624), Act v. Sc. 1.; "All the world ’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players", Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act ii. Sc. 7.
  • Her that ruled the rost in the kitchen.
    • History of Women (ed. 1624), p. 286. Compare: "He ruleth all the roste", John Skelton, Why Come ye not to Courte (published c. 1550), Line 198; "Rule the rost", John Heywood, Proverbs (1546) part i. chap. v.; "Rules the roast", Ben Jonson, George Chapman, Marston: Eastward Ho, act ii. sc. 1.; William Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI. act i. sc. 1.
  • I hold he loves me best that calls me Tom.
    • Hierarchie of the Blessed Angells (1635).
  • Seven cities warred for Homer being dead,
    Who living had no roofe to shrowd his head.
    • Hierarchie of the Blessed Angells (1635). Compare: "Homer himself must beg if he want means, and as by report sometimes he did 'go from door to door and sing ballads, with a company of boys about him", Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, Part i. Sect. 2, Memb. 4, Subsect. 6.
  • Pack, clouds, away! and welcome, day!
    With night we banish sorrow.
    Sweet air, blow soft; mount, lark, aloft
    To give my Love good-morrow!
    Wings from the wind to please her mind,
    Notes from the lark I'll borrow:
    Bird, prune thy wing! nightingale, sing!
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