Intricate Laughter in the Satire of Swift and Pope

Macmillan, 1986 - 206 pages
While the eighteenth century was a period in which satire flourished, many eighteenth-century writers felt considerable unease about the form, and about the laughter it produced. This book explores the intricate effects of satiric laughter, taking as its focus the satire of swift and Pope. Laughter is a weapon which excludes its victim not only from society but from the state of being human. At the same time laughter can achieve and strengthen group identity for those who are engaged in laughing, it is also frequently used as a weapon within society. The satirist, in encouraging laughter, reactivates and legitimizes his reader's childhood sense of play in order to secure endorsement of the satiric attack. The greatest satire however, transcends personal attack and brings the reader to affirm, through laughter, belief in the abiding worth of humankind.

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Table des matières

Laughter in Society
The Playground of the Mind
Droits d'auteur

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