Some distinguishing characteristics of Elizabethan literature are the writers' use of blank verse and satire. During this period in history, sonnets and poetry became popular forms of writing.
Notable writers during this era include William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe and Sir Philip Sidney. Sonnets were written with three quatrains and a couplet, and this structure was later recognized as a Shakespearean sonnet. Another literary term of the time was the Spenserian stanza, which featured a nine-line stanza. Plays were also predominant. Marlowe is known for composing "Tamburlaine," one of the first English plays to use blank verse.