Byron Wien Essay

But so often there is another passenger, like the romantic spirit, in-tangible, who boards and alights here and there.

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Fordyce-Clark A Thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of English. Satire of the highest type is written from this, so to speak, position of eminence which admits—almost impells—the employment of the superior weapons, mockery and raillery. Given these materials, the rest depends on the satirist's imagination and audacity. He was followed by Persius and imitated by a pupil after his own heart—Juvenal. These three, Horace, Persius and Juvenal, are the models for the English Augustans who regarded Lucilius as too primitive and lacking in "justesse." They gave the Romans credit for more "moral purpose" than is consistent with the known characters of the ancient writers, although in fairness 7.

In his egotism the satirist focuses attention upon the discrepancies in the world external to his ego, a world 1. From his exalted place he passes judgment, always condemnatory, for, where he has been displeased, it is his pleasure to notice only incongruities, and he finds joy in destroying, or attempting to destroy, what he considers other people's illusions. Fools and villains are its quarry, and it postu-lates a fine eye for faults and a sharp tongue. , But it was Lucilius who determined the form and tone of classical Roman satire* A bachelor of doubtful character, his mind stocked with the obscene abuse of Athenian comedy, and with political animus besides, he set the fashion of attacking and neglected the milder delineation in caricature that is so often the manner of such a gentler spirit as Horace.

Byron's reaction to his Italian masters produced similar effects.

Bdfore this intensive cultivation of English satire there were centuries of slower development that leave a specific national flavour.

The satiric notes in the lyric utterance of Byron as the romantic Childe Harold become the predominating strain of the cynical Don Juan. Any professed moral purpose accompanying the chastening is, if it exists, likely to be wholly secondary and is not allowed to interfere with the main purpose. upon which his assumption of superiority allows him to look down. The human—or inhuman—propensity for satire appears in the literature of Ancient Greece, yet it does not exist in that concentrated form which later ages employ, "Elle ne s'y rencontre qu'a l'e'tat diffus." It requires a hypercritical age, no less than a hypocritical one. The coarse jests and repartee of the Saturnian versifiers were consolidated to form the "satura" which implies "medley." From this source and from Old Greek comedy, Andronieus received inspiration for his satiric drama, and likewise JSnnius for his "satura" in dialogue form.

Byron Wien Essay

En d'autres termes, satire morale ou politique, satire litteraire, la satire est toujours une expression du moi du satirique; et, quelque forme qu'elle rev&te, prose ou vers, la podte ne s'en sert que comme d*un moyen d'opposer sa facon de sentir ou de penser a celles qui ne sont point les siennes, et qui excitent pour ce motif sa colore ou son indignation, son horreur ou sa crainte, son m^pris ou son ironie."1. "Satura quidea tota nostra est." The whole question of Greek and Alexandrian influence is still being debated. refinement of Roratian rally and Juvenalian censure hut the evolutionary process is logically traceable; and while the classical form commanded the attention of scholars in other lands, the satire in the vernacular continued to develop, awaiting export in a later age.

Some pedestrian satirists never reach this position, never become adepts with the finer weapons; and some who have gained it after the effort of years, still retain the tendency to forsake, in an impassioned moment, this tactical advantage to rush directly at the objective.:1 1. - Metrical satire did, indeed, receive an impetus from Archilochus and other writers of the dim past whose work received the approval of Horace and ^uintilian. to Dryden it must be said that he suspected that Persius1 repeated frankness on the subject of sex did not spring from the purest of motives.

It is an interesting fact that the latter asserts that satire is an Italian growth.3 It is a far cry from the rude recriminations of the early Italian folk to the — * — • — • — l — r - r ^ l - i irr—i 1 • m .i i - i i -i •_ • - M i i ii i i III m ! Satire as developed and polished by Dryden and Pope is probably the most obvious example of classical Latin influence on English Literature.

"Et quand enfin ii epanche sa colore ou sa bile, c'est alors de la satire.

In the ode the writer expresses enthusiasm, in the elegy, sorrow or sadness.


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