That e'er wore earth about him, was a sufferer, A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit, The first true gentleman that ever breathed.
The satirical papyrus at the British Museum Satirical ostraca showing a cat guarding geese, c. Figured ostracon showing a cat waiting on a mouse, Egypt One of the earliest examples of what we might call satire, The Satire of the Trades is in Egyptian writing from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC.
The text's apparent readers are students, tired of studying. It argues that their lot as scribes is not only useful, but far superior to that of the ordinary man. Scholars such as Helck  think that the context was meant to be serious.
The Papyrus Anastasi I  late 2nd millennium BC contains a satirical letter which first praises the virtues of its recipient, but then mocks the reader's meagre knowledge and achievements. Ancient Greece[ edit ] The Greeks had no word for what later would be called "satire", although the terms cynicism and parody were used.
Modern critics call the Greek playwright Aristophanes one of the best known early satirists: He is also notable for the persecution he underwent.
His early play Drunkenness contains an attack on the politician Callimedon. The oldest form of satire still in use is the Menippean satire by Menippus of Gadara.
His own writings are lost. Examples from his admirers and imitators mix seriousness and mockery in dialogues and present parodies before a background of diatribe.
As in the case of Aristophanes plays, menippean satire turned upon images of filth and disease. The two most prominent and influential ancient Roman satirists are Horace and Juvenalwho wrote during the early days of the Roman Empire.
Other important satirists in ancient Latin are Gaius Lucilius and Persius. Satire in their work is much wider than in the modern sense of the word, including fantastic and highly coloured humorous writing with little or no real mocking intent. When Horace criticized Augustushe used veiled ironic terms.
In contrast, Pliny reports that the 6th-century-BC poet Hipponax wrote satirae that were so cruel that the offended hanged themselves.
He states that he was surprised they expected people to believe their lies, and stating that he, like they, has no actual knowledge or experience, but shall now tell lies as if he did. He goes on to describe a far more obviously extreme and unrealistic tale, involving interplanetary exploration, war among alien life forms, and life inside a mile long whale back in the terrestrial ocean, all intended to make obvious the fallacies of books like Indica and The Odyssey.
Medieval Islamic world[ edit ] Main articles: Arabic satire and Persian satire Medieval Arabic poetry included the satiric genre hija. Satire was introduced into Arabic prose literature by the Afro-Arab author Al-Jahiz in the 9th century.
While dealing with serious topics in what are now known as anthropologysociology and psychologyhe introduced a satirical approach, "based on the premise that, however serious the subject under review, it could be made more interesting and thus achieve greater effect, if only one leavened the lump of solemnity by the insertion of a few amusing anecdotes or by the throwing out of some witty or paradoxical observations.
He was well aware that, in treating of new themes in his prose works, he would have to employ a vocabulary of a nature more familiar in hija, satirical poetry. Another satirical story based on this preference was an Arabian Nights tale called "Ali with the Large Member".
Due to cultural differences, they disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation and instead identified it with Arabic poetic themes and forms, such as hija satirical poetry. They viewed comedy as simply the "art of reprehension", and made no reference to light and cheerful events, or troubled beginnings and happy endings, associated with classical Greek comedy.
After the Latin translations of the 12th centurythe term "comedy" thus gained a new semantic meaning in Medieval literature. His work is noted for its satire and obscene verses, often political or bawdy, and often cited in debates involving homosexual practices.
His non-satirical serious classical verses have also been regarded as very well written, in league with the other great works of Persian literature. Between andBibi Khatoon Astarabadi and other Iranian writers wrote notable satires.
Medieval Europe[ edit ] In the Early Middle Agesexamples of satire were the songs by Goliards or vagants now best known as an anthology called Carmina Burana and made famous as texts of a composition by the 20th-century composer Carl Orff.
Satirical poetry is believed to have been popular, although little has survived.Get these free sample essays from Essay Writer – for UK students and academics – free sample essays covering a wide range of subject areas and topics. In Observer editor David Astor lent George Orwell a remote Scottish farmhouse in which to write his new book, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
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