Satire

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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  • The Literary Encyclopedia. WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

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Satire is a verbal or visual mode of expression that uses ridicule to diminish its subject in the eyes of its audience. It is a mode (cf. romance, tragedy and comedy) that can operate in any number of different formal structures. Thus an epic poem, such as Pope's

The Dunciad

, or a narrative prose account of imaginary travels, such as Swift's

Gulliver's Travels

, or a ballad opera, such as Gay's

The Beggar's Opera

, to take three works published between 1726-8 but written in very different forms, are each properly referred to as satires because they share certain common qualities in terms of their overall conception. The authors of each are intent on making fun of the absurdity, pretension and degeneracy of the respective worlds they are portraying. In more recent times satire has been…

3203 words

Citation: Gordon, Ian. "Satire". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2002 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=984, accessed 20 May 2024.]

984 Satire 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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