English Satires



Zeit/Ort n.V.:

  • Mi 10:15-11:45, Raum C 303

Voraussetzungen / Organisatorisches

- BA English and American Studies: Hauptmodul A (301) Literature/Culture (Zulassungsvoraussetzung: Zwischenmodul II) – HA
- Lehramt Englisch an Gymnasien: Hauptmodul L-GYM Literature. (Zulassungsvoraussetzung: Zwischenmodul Literature) – HA (80 %)
- MA English Studies: Core Module: Literature (module 4051, exam 40511: Written assignment (15 pages, 80%) and handout (2–3 pages, 20%))
- MA English Studies: Master Module II: Literature (module 8360, exam 83601: Written assignment (15 pages, 80%) and handout (2–3pages, 20%))
- MA Literaturstudien – intermedial und interkulturell: Modul 4


In this seminar, we will study the long tradition of satirical writing in England. After analysing the paradigms of satire in ancient times (Juvenal, Horace) we will focus on satirical elements in English fables and in the 'character-writing' of the 17th century (John Earle, Thomas Overbury). A close look at Thomas Morus's |Utopia| (1516) will allow us to understand the close affiliations between utopian and satirical writing. Before we examine the classical satires of the 18th century, we will briefly study the attack on Puritanism in Samuel Butler's |Hudibras| (1684). The culture of the English satire reached its heyday in the Augustan Age with the works of Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, Henry Fielding and Samuel Johnson; typical examples of their satirical texts will be studied in class. We will also shed some light on the visual satire of William Hogarth. We will briefly discuss the further development of satirical writing in the 19th century. The seminar will end with the question if satirical writing is still possible in the context of modernism and postmodernism.