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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Savage Laughter: Parody, Mockery and Satire, 1600-1740 (ENLI10358)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEnglish Literature Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionDespite being a consistent presence in many literatures, satire has often made both writers and readers uneasy. This unease has often arisen in response to the apparent cruelty and violence of much satire, its use of mimicry and irony, and its involvement with the irrational, passionate and bodily forces of anger and laughter. Satire¿s history is marked by critical arguments and disagreements about how it ought to be defined, and how its power is to be understood. There have also been many attempts down the centuries to separate out healthy, useful or corrective satiric writing from damaging raillery, mockery and libel, and many have sought to purge it of its dangers while preserving the aspects or elements they consider socially or psychologically valuable. Needless to say, few of these attempts have been even briefly successful.

This course will explore some representative texts from what has often been considered a great age of satire in English, beginning with its proscription by religious authorities in the 1590s and ending with the exemplary and still potent work of Pope and Swift. It will range across different kinds of satiric writing, exploring their formal characteristics, their thematic preoccupations, and the different purposes they might serve. It will look closely at critical definitions hazarded by the writers themselves, and explore the ways in which parodic and satiric texts engage with their predecessors and peers. It will also draw on modern and contemporary critical discussions of satiric writing, and of the unruly energies and passions that it seeks both to express and to tame.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 75 %, Coursework 25 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students will

1) be familiar with a range of satiric works from the early modern period
2) comprehend these texts in the context of early modern critical debate around satire
3) have a good understanding of the common formal characteristics of early modern satire
4) have a good understanding of the common thematic preoccupations of early modern satire
5) be able to compare and contrast different texts and authors from the period 1600-1740
6) have a working knowledge of theoretical characterisations of satire, and of their broader conceptual presuppositions.

Assessment Information
2,500 word coursework essay (25%); 2 hour exam (75%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsSatire anger laughter poetry drama
Course organiserProf James Loxley
Tel: (0131 6)50 3610
Course secretaryMrs Anne Mason
Tel: (0131 6)50 3618
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