Satire and Irony

2561J [CRN: 15163]

Satire is not so much a genre as it is a mode of discourse, like irony, that resists formal constraints and can function in almost any kind of text. Satire’s dynamic contradictions (reform and frustration; laughter and anger; topicality and generality; purposefulness and pointlessness; public and private) enliven early modern texts, and complicate the relationship between language and meaning. Theories of satire provide a framework for the study of its history and practice. Emphasis falls on the great age of satire (especially the works of Jonathan Swift and his contemporaries) but some attention will be given to earlier and later examples. Limited to graduate students. Qualified undergraduates will be permitted to register at the instructor's discretion.
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