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Satire and Irony

ENGL 049.910
instructor(s):
MTWR 10:40-12:15

At its broadest, Satire is the literary expression of anger and outrage and as such a part of human self-expression in all cultures. But in western literature, satire has a history as a form or genre that dates back to the ancient Romans. This course will explore the origins of satire in Greek and Roman literature and move quickly to the great age of satire in English literature, the 18th century. We will read works by the two greatest English satirists, Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope, treating those works as models for satiric literature in the years to come. We will then read a selection of satirical works from English and American literature to see how satire survives and changes. Among the authors we will read are: Swift, Pope, Gay, Byron, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, Evelyn Waugh, Nathanael West, Thomas Pynchon, and Vladimir Nabokov. Two five-page papers and a final exam will be required.