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British Satire

ENGL 049.950

The British have a reputation for being reserved - yeah, right! Certainly not in their satire, whether in print, on stage, in film, or on television. Consider the Monty Python gang, Rowan Atkinson, or the outrageous comedy of Absolutely Fabulous. We will spend our time exploring the works of a few of the great British satirists, from the biting pens of 18th century writers, such as Swift and Pope, up through the outrageousness of some modern British sitcoms. We will define and trace the characteristic techniques of satire in literature and performance, and question the impulse and delivery of this sometimes gentle, sometimes vicious comedic form. Hopefully, we can begin to appreciate our own satiric heritage, laugh a little along the way, and dispel the myth of British reserve.

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