Print, patronage, and the satiric pamphlet : the death of Robert Greene as a defining textual moment
This dissertation is an investigation of five pamphlets relating to Robert Greene and published within six months of his death in 1592. Proposing that this is a defining textual moment because of the way these pamphlets changed the nature of the satiric pamphlet through their problematic relationship with patronage and the marketplace of print, this study considers each pamphlet, in a separate chapter, as an argument in an ongoing dialectic. The first chapter sets the pamphlet culture within the context of patronage and subversion, and argues that it is in the subversive tradition of the Marprelate tracts that Greene, spurning patronage, cast himself as a popular pamphleteer. Chapter two studies 'Groatsworth of Wit' as Greene's self-conscious fictionalization of the typical pamphleteer's tragic divorce from humanism and his slow deterioration in the marketplace of print. The third chapter deals with Harvey's strategies of self-presentation, in 'Foure Letters and Certaine Sonnets', as both an ideal orator and an exemplary pamphleteer, as opposed to Greene, whom he sees as immoral. The fourth chapter explores the significance, in Chettle's 'Kind Hartes Dreame', of the satires against official voices that sought to curb wide dissemination of knowledge through print and other media, and argues that the satire in the pamphlet is inspired by the death of Greene. The fifth chapter shows how Nashe fashions his own satirical voice in 'Strange Newes' by openly aligning himself with Greene and refuting Harvey's insinuations of subversion in 'Foure Letters'. The sixth chapter, on B. R.'s ' Greenes Newes', argues that Riche=s evocation of Greene testifies to the potency of Greene's influence and contextualizes Riche=s own pamphlet within the satiric tradition of the Elizabethan pamphlet. The study concludes with a look at the 1599 Bishop's ban on pamphlets as a natural consequence of the new definitions forged for the satirical pamphlet in 1592. It ends with the claim that, positioned as it is between the Marprelate controversy of the late 1580s and the 1599 ban, the textual moment of 1592 redefined the contours of the satiric pamphlet and helped shape the course of English prose satire.