Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lynn A. Botelho, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Steven Schroeder, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Irene Kabala, Ph.D.


This research focused on Richard Daye's 1581 publication of A Booke of Christian Prayers, an overtly Protestant document. Specifically, this study looked at how images were used as an educational tool in prescriptive literature. The illustrations in the danse macabre of A Booke of Christian Prayers reflected and reinforced changes to the English religious culture surrounding death and the dead. Printers utilized such images of death to teach viewers about how good Christians should live. The danse macabre instructed sixteenth-century people on the importance immediate and sustained preparation in order to have a good Protestant death. A numerical analysis of the social standing, age, and gender of the danse macabre figures revealed that Daye printed A Booke of Christian Prayers for men who occupied professional and middling positions. Such imagery instructed Christians to quickly incorporate these changes into daily practice because Death could appear at anytime to anyone.