##### Subject: English

##### Level: A Level

##### Exam Boards: All



\##A level notes on Satire##

\####Horatian satire: named after Horace (65-8BC), \ this type of satire playfully criticizes social vices through light-hearted humour; it is typically \ playful and mild, pointing at what might be thought of as folly rather than \ pure evil. It has a sympathetic tone, which makes it common in modern \ society.

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    \ \*\*The Rape of the Lock, Alexander Pope\*\* \

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    \ \*\*Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain\*\* \

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    \ \*\*The Simpsons, Matt Groening\*\* \
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\###Juvenalian satire: \ named after the Roman satirist Juvenal- late 1st \ century-early 2nd century CE- far more contemptuous and abrasive than its \ Horatian counterpart. Addresses social evil through scorn, outrage, and \ savage ridicule- often a form with a pessimistic worldview- irony, sarcasm, \ moral indignation and personal invective- primary function is not to be \ humorous. Polarised political satire is often Juvenalian.

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    \ \*\*A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess\*\* \

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    \ \*\*Catch-22, Joseph Heller\*\* \

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    \ \*\*Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell\*\* \

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    \ \*\*A Modest Proposal, Jonathon Swift\*\* \

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\ Swift wrote his own epitaph to be placed on his grave:

\ Hic depositum est Corpus

\ IONATHAN SWIFT S.T.D.

\ Hujus Ecclesiæ Cathedralis

\ Decani,

\ Ubi sæva Indignatio

\ Ulterius

\ Cor lacerare nequit,

\ Abi Viator

\ Et imitare, si poteris,

\ Strenuum pro virili

\ Libertatis Vindicatorem.

\ Obiit 19º Die Mensis Octobris

\ A.D. 1745 Anno Ætatis 78º.

\ Literal translation: "Here is laid the Body of Jonathan Swift, Doctor of \ Sacred Theology, Dean of this Cathedral Church, where fierce Indignation \ can no longer injure the Heart. Go forth, Voyager, and copy, if you can, \ this vigorous (to the best of his ability) Champion of Liberty. He died on \ the 19th Day of the Month of October, A.D. 1745, in the 78th Year of his \ Age."

\##Yeat’s poetic translation:

\ Swift has sailed into his rest;

\ Savage indignation there

\ Cannot lacerate his breast.

\ Imitate him if you dare,

\ World-besotted traveller; he

\ Served human liberty.




\ Koehler, Margaret. "Odes of Absorption in the Restoration and Early \ Eighteenth Century." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. 47.3 (2007): \ 659-78. Print.


\ The eighteenth century ode moves from “public to private, panegyric to \ introspection, real persons to personified abstractions.”

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    \ Panegyric: a formal public speech often in praise of a person or a \ thing \

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\ “The caller takes on qualities of the personified abstraction he invokes: \ the poet who summons Fancy- an ostensibly separate being- finds himself \ merged temporarily with Fancy. Such fluid boundaries between calling voice \ and invoked object also appear in earlier Pindarics, though more haltingly, \ often interrupting the ode’s direction.”

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    \ Pindaric: a ceremonious poem in the style of Pindar- a Greek lyrist \ of the 5th century BC. \

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      \ Typically uses the triadic structure of a strophe (2+ lines \ repeated as a unit) followed by a metrically harmonious \ antistrophe, and concluding with a summary line- an epode- in a \ different metre \

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\ Hotch, Ripley. "Pope Surveys His Kingdom: An Essay on Criticism." Studies \ in English Literature, 1500-1900. 13.3 (1973): 474-87. Print.


\ “Pope’s object in the Essay on Criticism is not to say something original \ about criticism, but to announce himself as a poet. The poem compares the \ state of poetry to a kingdom, and describes the history of its \ establishment, overthrow, and restoration. Pope’s metaphors are drawn from \ the language of law and conquest…”


\ Pope makes two references to himself in Essay- he is both “the last, the \ meanest” of the sons of the immortal poets and in his conclusion, tells us \ that his muse is content with ‘low numbers’ and ‘short excursions’.


\ “…the Essay on Criticism, which is not about criticism, but about the young \ poet writing the poem, his situation, and his claim to merit” 474

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    \ The poem is proof of his qualifications to write the poem \

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\ If Pope and Swift are writing tracts on what it means to be a critic, then \ they are underlining their own roles as above the nature of the recipients \ of their work. “Pope vindicates his own qualities as law-giver and ruler, \ and therefore justifies his own role as heir-apparent to the crown of \ poetry”

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    \ Laying out a critical theory is the same thing as being the \ libertine leader; the ruler is answerable to the same network of \ rules and regulations as his subjects are; idea of constitutional \ monarchy as opposed to absolute rule \

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\ The sun is the traditional symbol of kingship for Pope- just as it had been \ for Renaissance poets before. Both nature and the monarch are givers of \ warmth, light and life; it is also the symbol of an unchanging power.


\ In MacFlecknoe, Pope plays with the sun-as-king image by having the \ ‘lambent dullness’ playing around Flecknoe’s face instead of the halo \ image- a somewhat cruel inversion. This is replicated by Dryden treating \ Shadwell as ‘the anti-Christ of wit


\ Sectarianism: allowing a part to govern the whole

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