Analysis of Satirical Literature Essay

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During the Age of Enlightenment, people began believing in and relying upon rational thought instead of religious dogma to explain the world. This newfound emphasis on rationality promoted a breadth of freedom in speech that was previously unknown, a fact which was utilized by philosophers such as John Locke, Rousseau, and Sir Isaac Newton. In addition, the Age of Enlightenment produced famous writers who didn’t agree with the irrational politics and old traditions of their respective countries, and instead relied upon wit and satire to expose the corruption and poor human condition existing around them. These Enlightenment writers use irony in their satires to get their interpretations regarding the human condition across.
In Tartuffe,
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He guides our lives, and to protect my honor Stays by my wife, and keeps an eye upon her; He tells me who she sees, and all she does (Molière 26)
Since Orgon was blinded by Tartuffe’s spiritual stature, Orgon did not notice that Tartuffe was actually coveting his wife; dramatic irony was used here in that Orgon’s family and the audience already know that Tartuffe is a blackguard. Later in the story, Orgon finally changes his mind about Tartuffe when he sees Tartuffe trying to seduce his wife, but it was too late to make Tartuffe leave the house because by then, Tartuffe owned it. You’re just the proper person to remind me. Come, you are off to join the other boarders In the King’s prison, according to his orders (Molière 66)
Situational irony was used in that the opposite happens then what one is lead to expect because officers usually do not take sides during an altercation between two people without evidence; if that was the case, Orgon would have gone to jail for trespassing, as he had signed all of his belongings over to Tartuffe. Molière used the old Roman comedy tack on happy ending to symbolize that malevolence will never prevail.

In addition to using irony to attack religious hypocrisy, Voltaire’s Candide uses irony to contest the ineffectiveness of logical conjecture, the demoralization of people by greed, and
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