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Friday, September 10, 2021

Classification and Examples of Satire – Literary Terms

Tags: classification of satire, types of satire, satire synonym, political satire, satire definition, what is satire, satire examples

Classification and Examples of Satire – Literary Terms

Satire is sometimes divided into formal satire and indirect satire. In formal satire the author, or a PERSONA created by the author, speaks in the first person directly to the reader or, sometimes, to a character who responds and leads the speaker on. In indirect satire, the satirist creates a story or PLAY peopled with characters who speak and act in such a manner that they themselves are the targets of satire. Most modern satire is indirect. One form of indirect satire is called Menippean satire, which according to Northrop Frye “deals less with people...than with mental attitudes.” It mocks pretentious erudition, its characters serving as mouthpieces for ideas that are made absurd by the excess of their erudition. Short Menippean satires often take the form of DIALOGUES; longer ones are usually loosely plotted, rambling NARRATIVES (often NOVELS) that have unusual SETTINGS, long DIGRESSIONS, and large accumulations of facts organized according to some intellectual framework. Some examples are Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and more recently, John Barth's Giles Goat-Boy.

Satire may also be classified as Horatian satire (after Horace) or Juvenalian satire (after Juvenal). Horatian satire is gentle, amused, mildly corrective. In contrast, Juvenalian satire is harsh, biting, bitter, full of moral indignation and contempt.

Because satire is for the most part a literary manner or technique rather than a fixed GENRE, satire and satirists appear throughout literature. The Greeks had Aristophanes; the Romans, Juvenal and Horace. During the MIDDLE AGES satire emerged in beast epics and FABLIAUX, humorous, often bawdy, tales in eight-syllable verse satirizing women and the clergy. During the RENAISSANCE it persisted in the PICARESQUE novels of Miguel de Cervantes and François Rabelais. It flourished in the NEOCLASSICISM of seventeenth-century France (in the plays of Molière) and of eighteenth-century England (in the writing of John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Richard Steele, Joseph Addison, Jonathan Swift, and Henry Fielding). In the nineteenth century, the most famous satirists were Lord Byron, William M. Thackeray, and W. S. Gilbert in England, Mark Twain and Oliver Wendell Holmes in America. During the present century, satire finds effective expression in the diverse works of such writers like George Bernard Shaw, Noël Coward, Aldous Huxley, Evelyn Waugh, Edith Wharton, Sinclair Lewis, Rose Macaulay, John P. Marquand, Philip Roth, Joseph Heller, and John Cheever.






Tags: classification of satire, types of satire, satire synonym, political satire, satire definition, what is satire, satire examples

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