Alyssa Hayes Document Analysis

Hi everyoneENG_304_Document_Analysis_Worksheet doc

ENG 304: Subversion and Scandal in Early Modern Print Culture


What type of document is this? PAMPHLET !Satire!


Unique Physical Characteristics of the Document Check all that apply:⃝ Includes prominent title⃝ Includes attribution to   writer/s

⃝ Includes publishing information


Date of Pub 1604
Title and all subtitles of publication The Blacke BookLondon, printed by T.C. for Ieffrey Chorlton
Attribution to an author? If so, indicate the location (e.g., title   page, dedicatory epistle) Thomas MiddletonMarked T.M. in pamphlet
Inclusion of dedicatory front matter? Describe. The front of the pamplet states: London, printed by T.C. for Ieffrey   Chorlton. This shows that it is dedicatory to someone other than the printer/   anyone in general. I feel as though this was a common thing in the past and   still is today. Books are for the most part always dedicated to someone.
Who is the intended audience for the document? The satire is a sequel to Nash’s work, Pierce Penniless, however, it   does not have one specific audience. This is a bit ironic because Middleton   was not particularly of higher or wealthier class, he grew up in poverty, and   the satire is in view from a male figure living in poverty. Also, of course,   the satire attacks the church, so indirectly, it is against that type of   people.
 List three things the author   said that you think are important: I think the dedication on the first few pages was important because   it is something we will do today. Also, he says, “And thus far I presume,   that none will or can except at this, which I call The Blacke Book (because   it doubly damns the Devil).” I think this quotation is very important because   it is so blunt and straight forward which was not always common in that time   period, especially when dealing with God or the Devil. Lastly, Middleton   stated in the ending of the satire, “Now sir, what is your censure now? You   have read me, I am sure . . . Do I deserve my dark and pitchy title?” I   really like this statement because he is giving the people a chance to think   about their own thoughts, metacognition. This does not happen frequently,   where an author straight up asks what the reader thinks. For this reason it is   clearly important.
Why do you think the document was printed? The document was printed to make a satire out of the world at the   time. Also, Middleton and Shakespeare were two of the existing playwrights,   his work need be published in that area as a form of satire.
What can you deduce about the society that produced this document? At the time there was most definitely a separation of classes. Many   people lived in plague and poverty. It was not all fun and games for many. On   the other hand, there is obviously an upper/wealthy class that existed at the   time that lived on plays and the type of literature that Middleton, Nash,   Shakespeare, etc. were creating at the time. Lastly, it really hits toward   the religious tension and plague in general existing in society during this   time period.
Write a question to the writer/printer of this document: How much of the work is a satire and how much is serious? Is some of   it autobiographical, for example, one of the main characters coming from   poverty? How much did you want to include Nash in your work?
What does this document mean to you? I chose this document because other than Shakespeare, Middleton is a   great show of that time period. We hear so frequently about Shakespeare and   his work and so little about other playwrights and artists of the time. Also,   now a days, when we think of a little black book we think secrets, a book of   numbers, something following scandal or secretive actions; the title really   sparked my interest. I really enjoyed researching this document.

*Reference sources: Library of Congress, C.T. Evans (


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