ENGLISH 451 - Studies in Literature, 1600-1830
Section: 101 Eighteenth Century Satire
Term: SP 2009
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
Class Misc Info:
This class meets the Pre1830 requirement for the English major.
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Jonathan Swift said that satire is "a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own." This class will explore the form and function of the satiric glass in eighteenth-century literature. While there will be no preset parameters on where this exploration will take us, we will be particularly interested in the ethical dimension of satire. One of our initial inquiries therefore will be, to what degree is satire an attempt to make right a world that the writer sees as going wrong? Beyond this there are other issues that we will take up:

  • What is the nature of irony?
  • How does irony differ from satire?
  • How is it essential to it?
  • Is satire necessarily cynical, mean spirited, and structive?
  • Why is a work of art that is satiric also often unpopular?

We will read a number of Restoration poems, some short prose pieces, and a play; several works by Swift, including Gulliver's Travels; John Gay's The Beggar's Opera; Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock; and Voltaire's Candide.

Course work will consist of one five-page paper; one seven-page paper; a final examination; weekly response papers; class participation; regular attendance; and constant, dutiful reading. Approximate book costs: $60.

ENGLISH 451 - Studies in Literature, 1600-1830
Schedule Listing
101 (REC)
MW 10:00AM - 12:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0393927199
The Norton anthology of English literature, Author: Stephen Greenblatt, general editor ; M.H. Abrams, founding editor emeritus., Publisher: W.W. Norton 8th ed. 2006
ISBN: 0140455108
Candide, Author: Voltaire, Publisher: Penguin
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