Devices of Satire Essay
Satire is an accepted form of social criticism that goes as far back as 5 BC. Initially, satire was primarily in the form of plays and poetry. A Greek playwright by the name of Aristophanes is an example one of the best known early satirists and was well known for satirising the Athenian court system. Other important satirists include Horace and Juvenal and through their extensive work, these great Roman poets established the literary device satire as a distinct genre and in doing so they had a great impact on all subsequent literary satires. Thereafter, another one of the greatest satirists was none other than Jonathan swift, who was well known for his disgust in government and human nature. All which were very influential on the modern era is where one can find satire in just about everything from political cartoons in the newspaper, to even television. In fact, many modern comedy TV shows use satire to some extent, especially animated comedies such as The Simpsons, Futurama, South Park, Family Guy, or even popular parody programs such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and CNNNN. Many of these satirical sources present their satire in the form of a parody.
Parody, an imitation of a specific known person, literary work, movie, or event, is a form of satire strongly displayed in Jonathan Swift’s book, Gulliver’s Travels, and the movie, Airplane, by Jerry Zucker, David Zucker, and Jim Abrahams. These satirical works most commonly targeted subjects from a range of areas such as present day social issues all the way to politics.
Starting out, Swift was a man who used satire to convey his contempt for the human race. One of his most famous works conveyed this hatred and anger towards the human race. Such satire was expressed in his novel, Gulliver’s Travels. In the novel, an Englishmen, Lemuel Gulliver trained as a surgeon. Unfortunately, his practice received very little success. This led him to going out to sea. However, his adventure really began after the experience of a shipwreck. As soon as Gulliver woke up, he found himself surrounded and taken captive by tiny, six inch tall people called Lilliputians, who possessed significant enough bravery to attack. Subsequently, these Lilliputians constructed a large wagon specially built for Gulliver, and used it to transport him to the Capital city. There, he met the emperor, who was significantly amused by Gulliver. This eventually lead to the creation of a contract that allowed Gulliver his freedom. The opening statement of that document read,
Golbasto Momarem Evlame Gurdilo Shefin Mully Ully Gue, most mighty Emperor of Lilliput, delight and terror of the universe, whose dominions extend five thousand blustrugs(about twelve miles in circumference) to the extremities of the globe; monarch of all monarchs, taller than the sons of men; whose feet press down to the centre, and whose head strikes against the sun; at whose nod the princes of the earth shake their knees;...