What Is Satire Essay Research Paper What

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What Is Satire? Essay, Research Paper What is Satire?Satire is defined as the, literary art of diminishing or derogating a subject by making it ridiculous and evoking toward it attitudes of amusement, contempt, scorn, or indignation (Abrams 187). Additionally, a satirist s techniques include irony, inflation, deflation, sarcasm, illusion and allusion. By exaggerating characteristics, by saying the opposite of what the author means, by using his cleverness to make cutting and even cruel remarks at the expense of the his subject, the writer of satire can call the reader s attention to those things he believes are repulsive, despicable, or destructive. To better understand the meaning of satire, we must comprehend the two different types of satirists. One likes most people but

thinks they are rather blind and foolish. He tells the truth with a smile, so that he will not repel them but cure them of that ignorance which is their worst fate. Such is Horace who lived from 65-8 BCE (Hight 235). The other type hates most people, or despises them. His aim therefore is not to cure, but to wound, to punish, to destroy. Such is Juvenal who lived from 65-128 BCE (Hight 235). During this time these were a type of pseudo-religious drama but not considered real plays because they had no continuity or sustained plots (Britannica 467).In addition to being two types of satirists there are also two views of the purpose of satire. First, the optimist writes in order to heal, the pessimist in order to punish. One is a doctor, the other an executioner. A single author will

write one satire as an optimist and follow it with a pessimistic writing.In addition to recognizing the various components of satire, analyzing Candide and Tartuffe allows us to better understand the dual meaning of the satire. Satire must be presented in a manner which will bring action, and in a world of complacent hypocrites, irony, with its various means of presentation, is essential; the message cannot be delivered without it, if that message is to have any tangible effect. An analysis of Voltaire s Candide reveals many satirical elements. Voltaire named the main character Candide from the Latin meaning white, pure, and uncorrupted. Additionally Candide is pure of soul, completely trusting and always ready to give Pangloss philosophy of optimism another try. Candide is such

a white innocent that, like Dagwood Bumstead, he never learns anything and so never grows old (Sawyer 105). The irony here lies in the meaning of Candide s name and the fact that he killed three people; two of whom were priests. Voltaire named Candide s love, Cunegonde, after St. Cunegonde, whom he had mentioned in Annales de l empire (1753-54). St. Cunegonde was the wife of Henry II, Emperor of Bavaria, who had taken a vow of chastity. Upon his death she was restored a virgin to her parents and later canonized in 1200 (Sawyer 106). Similar to the irony between Candide s name and his actions, Cunegonde was a much traveled and vigorously used heroine. A prime example of burlesque is Pangloss term for what he teaches metaphysico-theologico-cosmoloonigology (Adams 1). The looney

that is buried in this burlesque word corresponds to a buried nigaud or booby in the French (Adams 1). Voltaire deflated the atrocities people perform during war stating these actions were in strict accordance with laws of war (Adams 5). The reader is given the impression these heinous acts were sanctioned when performed in this manner (Wade 25). Pangloss is inflated to the reader as the best philosopher in the world citing his proven law that the possibility of an effect does not exist without a cause. Actually Pangloss knew very little and instead twisted all occurrences to coincide with his optimistic beliefs. Pangloss became Candide s optimistic apostle who often gave long speeches full of large words and faulty logic. In addition to Voltaire inflating Pangloss, he satirized