Satire, according to Jonathan Swift, is a mirror where beholders generally discover everybody's face but their own. and over twenty-four centuries the mirror of satirical literature has taken on many shapes. Yet certain techniques recur continually, certain themes are timeless, and some targets are perennial. Politics (the mismanagement of men by other men) has always been a target of satire, as has the war between sexes.The universality of satire as a mode and creative impulse is demonstrated by the cross-cultural development of lampoon and travesty. Its deep roots and variety are shown by the persistence of allegory, fable, aphorism, and other literary subgenres. Hodgart analyzes satire at some of its most exuberant moments in Western literature, from Aristophanes to Brecht. His analysis is supplemented by a selection and discussion of prints and cartoons.Satire continues to help us make sense of the conventions that seem to have been almost genetically transmitted from their satiric ancestors to our digital contemporaries. This is especially evident in Hodgart's repeated references to satire's predilection for the ephemeral, for camouflaging itself among the everyday, for speaking to the moment, and thus for integrating itself as deeply as possible into society. Brian Connery's new introduction places Hodgart's analysis in its proper place in the development of twentieth-century criticism.
Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University College Dublin (Faculty of Arts; School of English and Drama), course: Gulliver's Travels, 8 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: In 1726 Jonathan Swift published Gulliver's Travels, a book which on the surface appeared to be a travel log to chronicle the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver on his voyages to four separate countries, but primarily serves as a satire on different aspects of human society and humankind itself. Swift's main purpose in using the satirical element in this book, as well as in most of his other works, is to "(...) vex the world rather than divert it (...)" (Swift 264) and thus to appeal to human's ability to change situations for the better. This believe derived from Swift's misanthropic worldview, not in the sense that he didn't have faith in human nature and had given up on any notion of ideals, but he rather, arisen out of disappointment in humankind, believed that man nevertheless was capable of reform. Swift himself laid bare his radically negative view of human beings in a letter to his friend Alexander Pope in 1725: "I have ever hated all Nations professions and Communityes and all my love is towards individualls for instance I hate the tribe of Lawyers, but I love Councellor such a one (...) and the rest principally I hate and detest that animal called man, although I hartily love John, Peter, Thomas and so forth." (Swift 264/ 265) Accordingly Swift's focus lies on the individual himself to realize unjust circumstances and to change them by acting. In order to achieve changes in society or even in human beings themselves, Swift makes use of different satirical techniques, which will be closer looked at in each of the four books of Gulliver's Travels, paying attention to Swifts targets and consequently to the effectiveness of his satire.
This book advances a model for the analysis of contemporary satirical humour. Combining a range of theoretical frameworks in stylistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis, Simpson examines both the methods of textual composition and the strategies of interpretation for satire. Verbal irony is central to the model, in respect of which Simpson isolates three principal “ironic phases” that shape the uptake of satirical humour. Throughout the book, consistent emphasis is placed on satire’s status as a culturally situated discursive practice, while the categories of the model proposed are amply illustrated with textual examples. A notable feature of the book is a chapter on the legal implications of using satirical humour as a weapon of attack in the public domain. A book where Jonathan Swift meets Private Eye magazine, this entertaining and thought-provoking study will interest those working in stylistics, humorology, pragmatics and discourse analysis. It also has relevance for forensic discourse analysis, and for media, literary and cultural studies.
This dissertation is an overview of the British novel c. 1740--1830 from the perspective of a scholar interested in narrative satire. Many of the major novels in this period were considered by contemporary readers to be satires or at least to contain strong satiric elements, yet few scholars have attempted to explain how these novels use satire. Critics of individual novelists have, to varying degrees, treated their subjects as satirists--Smollett is frequently read as a satirist, as is Peacock. But these studies often do not give a sense of the sheer variety and diversity of this period's novelistic satire. Though many works were thought to be satiric, they use satire in vastly different ways for various purposes. How much of a relationship exists between the satire of Smollett, Burney, and Bage, for instance? These novelists all write works containing satire, but they diverge in both tone and aim. In this study I want to provide a map of possibilities for narrative satire in this period, describing both the kinds of distinct satiric goals novelists pursue and the range of techniques they use to achieve them.Besides demonstrating variance in satiric aim and method, I also want to argue against the notion that satire and the novel are antithetical forms, and that novelistic satire declines after the mid-eighteenth century. Scholars of satire and the eighteenth-century novel have tended to argue that as the novel form grows in popularity, satire decays. The novel is often said to be incompatible with satire; critics have argued that novelists are too concerned with developing the realism of their plots and characters to make effective satiric attacks. The problem here is that these scholars have conceived of satire in narrow ways, not taking into account the breadth of satiric techniques novelists employ throughout this period. Just because few novelists in the late eighteenth century attempt to write novels similar to Smollett's or Fielding's does not mean that novelistic satire declines.In the first part of my study I discuss how satire has been conceived both by modern scholars and eighteenth-century readers, and I make the case that satire can have varying aims. I also develop a rhetorical approach to novelistic satire, focusing especially on how novelists attempt to control the judgments of their readers. In the four chapters of the second part, I focus on four major satiric aims: entertainment, instruction, pessimistic expression, and attack. As the examples in each chapter demonstrate, each of these satiric aims is a distinct enterprise.As satire is so often a central element of the novels of the period, understanding the multifarious ways in which it operates is important for our interpretations of these works. Where my predecessors see satire as a very specific genre that declines as the novel grows in popularity, I see a vibrant mode that is incorporated into the novel for a wide array of purposes. My goal is to give my readers a sense of this diverse and exciting range.
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7 (A-), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Englies Institute), course: Swift and Satire, 14 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: "Satyr is a sort of Glass, wherein Beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their Own; which is the chief Reason for that kind Reception it meets in the World, and that so few are offended with it" (Swift, see Weiß 1). When Swift wrote this, A Tale of a Tub had not been published yet. If it had been, he might not have characterised satire as something quite inoffensive to the individual reader: A Tale of a Tub made him the subject of massive criticism, mainly because of its supposed blasphemous nature. Not very surprisingly, however, this criticism was mainly issued by the men he had attacked in the digression, which were not about religion but learning (see Storkman xvi). Similarly, although Swift had called his satire "On the Corruptions in Religion and Learning", and although at least two thirds of it actually deal with learning, most of the public interest has gone into the part of it concerning religion (see Storkman xiv). In this paper, I therefore want to examine Swift's satire on learning in the tenth section of A Tale of a Tub, "A Digression on Madness". I will start with some introductory notes on satire, covering its history, its character and its techniques. In a second part I will then analyse "A Digression of Madness" first from a historical and then from a structural point of view. In the last chapter I will conclude the paper by summarising and discussing the main arguments of the first two chapters.