1603 in literature
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The year 1603 in literature involved some significant events.
- March 24 – Queen Elizabeth I of England dies at Richmond Palace, ending the Elizabethan era begun in 1558, and is succeeded by her cousin King James VI of Scotland (where he has ruled since 1567), thus uniting the crowns of Scotland and England. Ben Jonson and Thomas Dekker collaborate on a pageant to welcome the new king and Thomas Middleton writes a speech of welcome to him.
- c. April – An outbreak of bubonic plague closes the London public theatres for a year.
- November 17 – Sir Walter Ralegh goes on trial for treason in the converted Great Hall of Winchester Castle. He is found guilty but his life is spared by the King at this time and he is returned to imprisonment in the Tower of London.
- December 2 – As You Like It may have been performed at Wilton House before King James I.
- Thomas Middleton gets married.
- Chronicler Richard Baker, is knighted by James I.
- Henry Chettle receives his last payment from Philip Henslowe.
- Jacobus Arminius becomes professor of theology at Leiden.
- The Accademia dei Lincei, the oldest scientific academy in the world, is founded in Rome by Federico Cesi.
- Johannes Huser of Waldkirch publishes a collected edition of Paracelsus's works.
- Frederick de Houtman publishes a grammar and dictionary of the Malay and Malagasy languages.
- Izumo no Okuni originates kabuki dance drama in Japan.
- Johann Bayer – Uranometria
- John Davies of Hereford – Microcosmos
- Thomas Dekker – The Wonderful Year
- Thomas Dekker & Thomas Middleton – News from Gravesend
- John Florio – Essayes on Morall, Politike, and Millitarie Discourses of Lo. Michaell de Montaigne, a translation of Montaigne's Essais
- Philemon Holland – The Philosophie, commonly called, the Morals, a translation of Plutarch's Moralia
- Anonymous – Philotus
- Thomas Heywood – A Woman Killed with Kindness
- Ben Jonson – Sejanus: His Fall, and The Entertainment at Althorp
- William Shakespeare – Hamlet published (first quarto, the "bad quarto")
- Juan de la Cueva – La Conquista de Betica
- January 21 – Shackerley Marmion, dramatist (died 1639)
- July 12 – Edward Benlowes, poet (died 1676)
- August 9 - Johannes Cocceius, theologian (died 1669)
- August 16 – Adam Olearius, scholar and librarian (died 1671)
- December 21 – Roger Williams, theologian (died 1684)
- date unknown
- probable - George Abbot, "the Puritan" (died 1648)
- February 18 – Claude Catherine de Clermont, salon hostess (born 1543)
- February 19 – Juan Azor, philosopher (born 1535)
- April 25 – Gregory of Valencia, Humanist philosopher (born 1550)
- June 27 – Jan Dymitr Solikowski, political and historical writer (born 1539)
- November 16 - Pierre Charron, philosopher (born 1541)
- November 30 – William Gilbert, natural philosopher (born 1544)
- date unknown – Peter Short, printer associated with the works of Shakespeare
- probable; late – William Kempe, comic actor
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- According to a letter which historian William Cory in 1865 claimed to exist.
- de Houtman, Fr. (1603). Spraeck ende woord-boeck, in de Maleysche ende Madagaskarsche talen, met vele Arabische ende Turcsche woorden. Inhoudende twaelf tsamensprekeninghen inde Maleysche, ende drie in de Madagaskarsche spraken, met alderhande woorden ende namen, ghestela naer dordre vanden A.B.C. alles int Nederduytsch gestellt: noch zijn hier byghevoecht de declinatien van vele vaste Sterren, staende ontrent den Zuyd-pool. Amsterdam: Jan Evertsz. Cloppenburch. Retrieved 2012-01-02.