• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'The two basic modes of satire are good-humoured teasing and savage attack.' Discuss The r**e of the Lock and A Modest Proposal in the light of this statement.

Extracts from this document...


'The two basic modes of satire are good-humoured teasing and savage attack.' Discuss The r**e of the Lock and A Modest Proposal in the light of this statement. The r**e of the Lock and A Modest Proposal were both published for the first time early in the 18th century (1712 and 1729 respectively). In addition, Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift were close friends. Given these facts, one could easily assume that there would be numerous similarities in style and arguments. This, though, is not necessarily the case. Satire is largely defined as a genre that attempts to highlight and criticise the flaws and failings of society through mockery and ridicule. It is often intended to inspire self-evaluation or, in more extreme cases, reform. However, the styles of these satirical pieces can be greatly contrasted. The r**e of the Lock is distinctly light-hearted, and very few, if any, instances of severity can be found. This type of satire is commonly known as Horatian satire, named after the Roman satirist, Horace, who claimed that "every play should either instruct or delight - better if it does both." The poem is written using the heroic couplet, for which Pope is widely recognised to have mastered and made his own. The heroic couplet consists of rhymed pairs of iambic pentameter lines. The natural balance of the couplet form is well suited to this Horatian style of satire, as it encourages comparisons and contrasts. ...read more.


This is made apparent at the very beginning of the poem, with Pope asking, "What mighty contests rise from trivial things?" This conforms with the Horatian ideals, as it very much appears as if Pope is attempting to reason with his target audience rather than attack their morals or beliefs. Typical features of an epic are seen throughout the poem. The appearance of the sylphs and other supernatural entities, for example, liken the situation to a struggle between the natural and supernatural. The depiction of Belinda as a pure and virtuous figure as opposed to the mysterious and somewhat nefarious baron also suggests a battle between good and evil, which is also common in classical epics. This style allows Pope to steer clear from his own personal opinions, which is extremely important in maintaining the atmosphere of impartiality required to lower the seriousness and harshness of the poem. Jonathan Swift, on the other hand, writes in a discursive style, which allows him to project his own outlook. This allows for a much more attacking and ruthless approach in writing. This style is known as the Juvenalian style, again named after a Roman satirist, which focuses much more on the evils and corruption of human society with an increased sense of pessimism and contempt. Swift's essay discusses extreme methods for solving Ireland's problems. ...read more.


Such a bizarre solution is seemingly mocking of genuine solutions proposed by the government, and by highlighting this, Swift is ridiculing the manner in which the government approaches these problems. In conclusion, The r**e of the Lock and A Modest Proposal are prime examples of the two main types of satire. Pope's piece exhibits the good-humoured Horatian style, through which he can make his point without alienating or offending anyone. Swift's piece, on the other hand, highlights the shocking and harsh value of a savage attack. Both pieces are effective in their own ways, largely due to the fact that they had distinctly different goals. For example, the Juvenalian style would not have effectively settled the dispute Pope was attempting to resolve in his poem, as it would have only served to cause offence and probably made the situation worse. Similarly, the Horatian style would no have been suitable in an assault on the government's ethics, as something on such a large scale would have to stand out, which a mere teasing would not achieve. The style of satire is significantly dependant on the target audience and what the writer/poet is setting out to achieve, as the very nature of satire is extremely liable to cause damage through its ridiculing and mocking features. 1,404 words Mark Cavanagh WKoTiT? Essay - Spring Term 2004 Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Jonathan Swift section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Jonathan Swift essays

  1. Satirical Pre 19th century Poetry

    Alliteration particularly of line 45 is effective use of satirical alliteration because it is repetition of the same type of word, so Jonathan Swift is reinforcing the disgust factor of Celia. Another linguistic device that is applied to The Lady's Dressing Room is metaphorical language, which is used to help

  2. How does Swift satirise human behaviour within Book IV of Gulliver's Travels?

    The Houyhnhnms find many faults with the society of Gulliver, but also find many parallels to the actions of the Yahoo's, which destroys Gulliver's belief in humanity. Aside from the behaviour of his culture, the Houyhnhnms also find fault with the physical form of humans, which appear inferior to that of even the Yahoo's.

  1. 'A modest proposal could be read by an insensitive reader as a cruel, inhuman, ...

    At this point, the reader is unsure of where the author's sympathies lay. Swift encourages the reader to look beyond the words. Other words, such as 'melancholy object', 'breeders' and 'grievance' are used out of context. If Swift was writing as though he was against the poor, then those and

  2. This paper explains that Gulliver's voyage to the land of the

    Gulliver experiences the advantages of physical might both as one who has it, as a giant in Lilliput where he can defeat the Blefuscudian navy by virtue of his immense size, and as one who does not have it, as a miniature visitor to Brobdingnag where he is harassed by the hugeness of everything from insects to household pets.

  1. The importance of the Fens as a surrounding context in Graham Swift's Waterland

    Vermuyden became involved in drainage projects in England in the 1620s and had the confidence of King Charles I. Not all the drainage projects were successful in the long-term. The Fens were often resistant to the changes imposed on them.

  2. Discuss how satire uses aspects of other genres. Use Rape of the Lock and ...

    all, there must be some literary substance to the experience of reading the work in the time until its satiric nature has been suspected and revealed. It is the genre of travel writing that Jonathan Swift chooses to; satirise itself, to some extent, and also as the vessel through which his deeper political satire will flow.

  1. The world of Pope's satires

    These attacks were largely in the form of pamphlets. Pamphleteering in the Eighteenth century was a cheap and effective way of reaching a large audience often with topical and controversial issues. Those liable laws that did exist were rarely brought into play over personal attacks and so the people who

  2. Discuss satire in Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels - Part IV.

    They had the ability to reason and be rational and not let greed get in the way of their decisions. This is also proven when Gulliver, at first, wanted only to go home and be with his friends and family.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work