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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
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryDespite 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.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesA MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or other interdisciplinary classes, Freshman Year Seminars or composition/creative writing classes/workshops are not considered for admission to this course. Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having 4 literature classes at grade A.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
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.

Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsSatire anger laughter poetry drama
Course organiserProf James Loxley
Tel: (0131 6)50 3610
Course secretaryMs June Haigh
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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