The Life And Death Of Satire

2426 Words Apr 2nd, 2015 10 Pages
The Life and Death of Satire
The Encyclopedia Britannica describes satire as, “an artistic form [and] is one of the most heavily worked literary designations, and one of the most imprecise.” (“Satire”). This definition shows that satire has had time to grow and has been changed over time to encapsulate an entire genre of literature. One of the earliest satires was “The Frogs,” by Aristophanes the Greek playwright. “The Frogs” is a play that focuses on Dionysus, and his travels into the underworld to get the famous playwright Euripides back from the dead. With growth comes broadening and change, with works such as A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, or Candide by Voltaire. A Modest Proposal is an essay that creates a horrifying and inhumane way to deal with poverty, which was rampant at the time. Candide is Voltaire’s satirical adventure novel that has the incompetent titular character travel the globe to regain his beautiful love. Satire then expands and incorporates more modern people and popular events. It has even grown to incorporate the satirization of deep philosophies and organizations with Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, or Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Catch-22 is the dark comedy that looks at the autonomous and heartless bureaucracy that our government and army have become. Cat’s Cradle is a dark look at hope, and how we as people may lie to ourselves and others, in order to enjoy hope. Satire is an art that has expanded over time, from the early satires to the…

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