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Poor old Juvenal was mugged by yobs, ripped off by his landlord and driven mad by the traffic- sounds familiar doesn't it? (Ian Hislop). How far do you consider Juvenal's satires have any relevance to the modern reader?

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Introduction

Classical civilization coursework Bryony Richardson Candidate number 1470 Poor old Juvenal was mugged by yobs, ripped off by his landlord and driven mad by the traffic- sounds familiar doesn't it? (Ian Hislop). How far do you consider Juvenal's satires have any relevance to the modern reader? At the first glance today's society seems very different to Juvenal's time. However when examined in greater detail it is possible to see many similarities between the two. In this essay I shall look in particular at crime, class, education, quality of life and discrimination against certain sectors of society. Crime in Juvenal's time was a problem, just as it is today. The citizens felt that crime was everywhere, and although a lot was being done about it, it was still present in society. Juvenal felt particularly aggrieved at those people who had status and money and had not worked for it or were foreigners. In his opinion this was a crime against the state. At this time shoddily built apartment blocks became the norm. Fires were frequent and, due to lack of water and services, were often overwhelming. ...read more.

Middle

There are still those members of the general public who find it acceptable to commit crimes for their own pleasure, completely disregarding the respect they should have for other people and their belongings. "there are still cat-burglars in plenty waiting to rob you, or else you'll be knifed - a quick job - by some street-apache." (sat. 3 ll.304-305) This is still the status quo within most cities; it is dangerous to go out alone at night and unadvisable to walk through unlit alley ways. Suspicious characters often lurk in such places waiting to ambush the innocent passer-by and gain advantage and lavishness in their own lives by illegal means: "gardens, palaces, furniture, those antique silver cups with their prancing repouss´┐Ż goats - crime paid for the lot of them." (sat.1 ll.75-77) This leads me on to look at the matter of money. Money has always been an issue for the human mind. It throws up questions of status both in today's society and for Juvenal. ...read more.

Conclusion

Those who were once the "working class" have used money to boost themselves into the "middle class". As a result the stiff class structure that once to dominate British society has now changed and become less rigid. This has benefited the poorer but those who would once have ridden on the back of the family name with the high flyers of society now need money, a good job and exemplary assests to maintain their position. Juvenal's satires are still very relevant to the modern reader. Sex, crime, money, education and class are still discussed today. He uses mockery in humour that people can relate to, people wish they could speak about the problems we face in everyday life with the same criticism and get away with it. Although Juvenal's topics are taken from the times of the Roman empire they can be translated into modern times. The corruption that he speaks of as being the corruption of Rome is now the corruption of the world. He states that "Rome now is a selfish society" (sat. 10) but that is true of the world today. His 'ordered disorder' appeals to the modern reader and his satires still have a lot of relevance to today's society. ...read more.

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