The Art of Satire
English 313, Spring 2003
Go directly to:
Office: (973) 353-5279 x 516; 516 Hill Hall.
Hours: Monday, 1:30-2:30 and 4:00-5:00, and by appointment
(appointments are best).
Home: (609) 882-4642 (before 10:00 p.m.!).
(the best way to reach me).
Listserv: satire @ andromeda.rutgers.edu
(for the whole class).
- Written Assignments: There will be one argumentative
paper of around 2,000 words
(eight pages). There are also several short exercises and an
in-class debate, all of which will be explained as they get
- Attendance: Almost any excuse, given in advance
(in person, by phone, or by E-mail), will receive my blessing.
Absences not excused in advance will be frowned upon, and your
final grade will be lowered by half a grade for each unexcused
absence. The same policy applies to late papers: I'll grant
extensions, but only if you talk to me before the due
- Class Participation: Regular and active class
participation (including doing the readings) is essential, and
counts for a large part of your grade.
- Computing: Some essential information will be
available only electronically. All students therefore
must have an E-mail account by the end of the first
week of classes, and must be able to use the World
Wide Web. Participation in the mailing list (see "listserv"
above) will count toward the class participation grade. I'll
provide any computing help you need.
- Plagiarism: It should go without saying, but
all work in this class must be your own. Handing in
someone else's work as your own will result in an F for the
course with no second chance, and may result in disciplinary
action. I encourage you to use outside sources, but you
have to cite anything you didn't write yourself. If you have even
an inkling of a doubt about what's legitimate or how to cite
something, see me before handing in the paper.
Five books Utopia, Gulliver's Travels,
Candide, The Crying of Lot 49, and Peace Out,
Dawg! Tales from Ground Zero are available from New
Jersey Books. The remainder of the readings are available in a
photocopy pack from Affordable Copies (68 Halsey St.); many are
Schedule of Class Meetings
- Wednesday, 22 January
- Introduction: Satire, irony, comedy, parody, lampoon,
invective, burlesque, travesty, jeremiad.
Ridentem Dicere Verum
- Monday, 27 January
- Horace, Satires 2.1 and 2.2.
- Wednesday, 29 January
- Juvenal, Satires 3 and 10.
- Monday, 3 February
- Alexander Pope, "The
First Satire of the Second Book of Horace, Imitated," and "The
Second Satire of the Second Book of Horace,
- Wednesday, 5 February
- John Dryden, selections from Discourse
concerning the Original and Progress of Satire.
- Monday, 10 February
- Dryden, Juvenal's
- Wednesday, 12 February
- Samuel Johnson, London.
EXERCISE: Produce your own imitation of
part of a satire by Horace or Juvenal in about 500 words. Rhyme
and meter are optional.
WHO BREAKS A
BUTTERFLY UPON A WHEEL?
Lampoon and Invective
- Monday, 17 February
- John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "A
Satyr on Charles II."
- Wednesday, 19 February
- Dryden, Mac
- Monday, 24 February
- Pope, Epistle
to Arbuthnot; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, "Verses
Addressed to the Imitator of Horace."
EXERCISE: Break a butterfly on a wheel with
a personal lampoon directed at a public figure in about 500
words. Examples: "A Satyr on George II," "Mac Clinton."
THE BEST OF
Social and Political Satire
- Wednesday, 26 February
- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's
Travels, part 1.
- Monday, 3 March
Travels, part 3.
- Wednesday, 5 March
- Swift, A
- Monday, 10 March
- Voltaire, Candide,
chapters 1-16. EXERCISE: Produce your own
"modest proposal" on the topic of your choice in about 500
- Wednesday, 12 March
- Monday, 17 March
- NO CLASS Spring
- Wednesday, 19 March
- NO CLASS Spring
- Monday, 24 March
- The Simpsons, "Homerphobia."
- Wednesday, 26 March
- Garry Trudeau, Peace
Out, Dawg! Tales from Ground Zero.
Utopias and Dystopias
- Monday, 31 March
- Thomas More, Utopia,
- Wednesday, 2 April
- Monday, 7 April
Travels, part 4. DEBATE: "Resolved,
Swift's Houyhnhnmland is a utopia."
Satire as Apocalypse
- Wednesday, 9 April
- Rochester, A
Satyr against Mankind; Pope, The
Dunciad, book 4.
- Monday, 14 April
Dunciad, book 4 (continued). E-MAIL
ASSIGNMENT: Send at least two possible theses
for your final paper to the class listserv by midnight on
- Wednesday, 16 April
- George Gordon, Lord Byron, A
Vision of Judgment. E-MAIL
ASSIGNMENT: Comment on at least two possible
theses by other members of the class on the listserv by midnight
- Monday, 21 April
- A Vision of Judgment (continued).
- Wednesday, 23 April
- Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, chapters
- Monday, 28 April
- The Crying of Lot 49, chapters 3-4.
- Wednesday, 30 April
- The Crying of Lot 49, chapters 5-6.
- Monday, 5 May