1. Historical facts


I. Definition and history



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Handout 4: Satire

I. Definition and history


-- of Latin origin: satura – ’medley’

-- literary art of diminishing or derogating a subject by making it ridiculous and evoking attitudes of amusement, contempt, scorn or indignation

-- its main aim is to reform or purify manners by attacking abuses and vices making the victims shameful due to their fear of contempt

-- Aristophanes: ’righteous enterprise’; Menippus, ’the man who jokes about serious things’

-- in Rome: a/ formal or direct verse satire

Horatian satire Juvenalian satire


- urbane, witty speaker - serious moralist

- informal language - dignified, public style

- evokes smile - evokes contempt

- optimist - pessimist

- physician to heal - executioner to punish

eg. Pope, ”Moral Essays” eg. Dr. Johnson’s poems


b/ Menippean or indirect prose satire eg. Swift, Gulliver’s Travels




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