Analysing Satire with reference to Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift

Sangramsinh Satishsinh Hajari

Abstract


Satire is a genre of literature in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon. Writers of the Augustan Age were revered for their wit and satirical works as they managed to portray the ills of their period through it. Their masterful approach to satire ensured that the noblemen were not offended, while the message was clearly understood. The Rape of the Lock is one of the most famous English language examples of the mock-epic. Published when Pope was only23 years old, the poem served to forge his reputation as a poet and remains his most frequently studied work. Whereas, Jonathan Swift's satire is inspired by what seems to be a general hatred of mankind. His indignation was equalled by his wit. He told most ridiculous stories and made the most outrageous jokes while appearing serious.


Keywords


Satire, Augustan Age, constructive social criticism, expose, parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, double entendre

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References


• Baines, Paul. The Complete Critical Guide to Alexander Pope. New York: Routledge; 2001. Print.

• Erskine-Hill, Howard. Pope, Alexander. London: Oxford U P; 2004. Print.

• Mack, Maynard. Jonathan Swift; A Life. Chicago: Yale U P; 1985. Print.

• Rogers, Pat. The Major Works of Jonathan Swift. London: Oxford U P; 2006. Print.

• Tamura, Elena Taralunga. Satire and Irony in Swift. The Economic Journal of Takasaki City University of Economics; 2003. Print.


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