Horace Juvenal Pope Dryden Swift Term Paper

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Horace Juvenal Pope Dryden Swift

Horace, and Juvenal, and their Influences on Eighteenth Century Satire: Pope's the Rape of the Lock and Swift's "A Modest Proposal"

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Echoes of the works of Roman satirists Horace and Juvenal can be found, often in combination, within various early eighteenth-century (Augustan) satirical works, including Alexander Pope's mock epic The Rape of the Lock (1714) and Jonathan Swift's essay "A Modest Proposal" (1729). Pope's The Rape of the Lock is closer, overall, in terms of its satirical tone and content, to the comparatively gentle and subtle satirical style of Horace, than to the more direct, less subtle or gentle style of Juvenal. However, Swift's "A Modest Proposal," which is neither subtle nor gentle in its social critique, is arguably closer, overall, in both content and tone to the types of works created by Juvenal. Neither work, however, is sufficiently parallel in its style, tone, content, or other characteristics, to the works of either Horace or Juvenal, to warrant its being judged either more "Horatian" or more "Juvenalian" than the other: both works contain elements of both Horatian and Juvenalian satirical styles and modes. Therefore', both Pope's and swift's works to be examined within this essay might be more accurately described as instead being combinations, or juxtapositions, of Horatian, Juvenalian, and other satirical styles; i.e., the results of miscellaneous eighteenth century influences and other influences on their respective authors as well (such as, for example, Pope's social and artistic ambitions, or Swift's acerbic wit and strong personality (Nokes (1987) 101-11; 179-84).

Term Paper on Horace Juvenal Pope Dryden Swift Horace, and Assignment

Overall, Horace as a satirist, at least as compared to the later Juvenal, employs a more subtle, gentle, and (arguably, at least) more intellectual kind of humor than does Juvenal (Dryden (2005) 18). Juvenal's work, on the other hand, is more direct and specific, coarser, and (as we might describe it nowadays) often 'in-your-face' (12; 18). In this essay, then, I shall suggest, using examples from Horace and Juvenal, combined with examples from Dryden's "Discourse concerning the Original and progress of Satire (Abridged)" (Lynch 2005) [here, Dryden compares Horace and Juvenal], that Pope's The Rape of the Lock is overall more "Horatian" than "Juvenalian," while Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is more direct, biting, and (therefore) Juvenalian than "Horatian" (though neither work is completely either "Horatian: or Juvenalian."

Horace's Satire 1.5 (2004-1310-13), tells of a journey taken by the poet, as a companion to Maecenas, from Rome to Brundisium in the year 38 or 37, apparently to help arrange a diplomatic meeting between representatives of Octavian and Antony, the "friends who had quarreled" referred to by Horace within the Satire (29).

Satire 1.5 is imitative of an earlier work (just as, though in a much different way, Pope's The Rape of the Lock is imitative of Homer's epics) by Lucillius ("Sermonum Liber Primus" 2004).

As Satire 1.5 begins, the poet "leaving the big city [Rome] behind," "found lodgings at Aricia in a smallish pub" (1-2). The first example of Homer's "raillery," or "good natured ridicule (Webster's New American Dictionary 1995 429) within Satire 1.5 ["raillery," that is, as compared to Juvenal's tendency to actually rail, or "complain angrily" (Webster's New American Dictionary] occurs along the Appian, where, stopping for dinner with his companion for that leg of the journey, the rhetoric professor Heliodurus:

declared war on my stomach because of the water which was quite appalling, and waited impatiently as the other travelers enjoyed their dinner. (6-8).

Here, Horace's raillery implies that he would rather have "declared war on my stomach" (that is, forced himself to go hungry, even after such a long trek that day) than risk becoming ill by drinking the water there.

Later that evening, Horace and Heliodurus pay boat fare for an overnight trip to Anxur. Falling asleep shortly after boarding, the poet awakens the next morning only to see that, due to their boatman's lazy drunkenness of the night before, they are still tied to the dock, have gone nowhere all night (14-23). Later, after they finally arrive at their destination and meet up with Maecenas and Cocceius, the four of them all laugh together at the opulent-looking toga and other official regalia of Aufidius Luscus, "that fatuous official" -- (135) and head off for Sinuessa to meet Plotius, Varuis, and Virgil (40-41). Here, Horace's humor, though biting (in an early, "pre-Juvenalian" sense), is also subtle, elegant, and detached, at least as compared to Juvenal's later work.

The high point of Horace's Satire 1.5 (2004), however, seems to be the insults exchanged between Messius and Sarmentus (52-69) seemingly as entertainment for Maecenas's friends once the group arrives at a villa owned by Cocceius. Messius is of Oscan descent, "the butt of many Roman jokes" (1321), and Sarmentus is a pretentious and overtly ambitious freed slave.

Sarmentus starts the string of insults off by telling Messius 'I declare you're the image of a wild horse' (57). However, Messius (after enduring several other rapidly-delivered insults from Sarmentus, all about his looks) ultimately gets the final laugh by ridiculing the freedman's ambition, former slave status, and puny body, all at once:

Messius] Cicirrus wasn't lost for an answer. Had Sarmentus got around to offering his chain, as promised, to the household gods? His status of clerk in no way diminished his misstress' claim on him. Finally, why had he ever bothered to run away when a single pound of meal would have been quite enough for a tiny miserable scrap like him? (65-69).

Like the whole of Horace's satire itself, Messius's "last laugh" is the product of clever uses and juxtapositions of imbedded meanings and implied significances as well as considerable verbal and rhetorical skills, rather than of direct attack (as are Sarmentus's less clever and skillful, more direct, attacks on Messius). This brief exchange within Horace's Satire 1.5 offers, in and of its self, an interesting opportunity for comparison and contrast between "raillery" (Messius) and "railing" (Sarmentus), or (though Juvenal's works came later) some key differences between Horatian and Juvenalian satirical strategies.

If Homer's gentler brand of satire exemplifies "raillery" as Nokes describes it (Raillery and Rage (1987) 1-98), Juvenal's more direct satirical style might then best be described as "railing." According to Damrosch et al. (2004), "Juvenal attacks corruption through an elevated style of indignation: Rome, in his vision, is the symbol of every city, its vices the vices of all humanity" (1353). Further, Juvenal's "brilliant invective and sharp eye for the indignities of city life" (Damrosch) [which lead to his railing, as opposed to the more subtle raillery of Horace] are particularly evident within his Third Satire [Against the City of Rome] (Damrosch 1353-7, 147-320). According to John Dryden, in his "Discourse on Satire (Abridged)" 2005) comparing Horace and Juvenal:

The] Manner of Horace is indeed the best; but Horace has not executed it, altogether so happily, at least not often. The Manner of Juvenal is confess'd to be Inferior to the former;

but Juvenal has excell'd him in his Performance. Juvenal has rail'd more wittily than Horace has rally'd [emphasis added]. Horace means to make his Reader laugh; but he is not so sure of his Experiment. Juvenal always intends to move your Indignation; and he always brings about his purpose. Horace... might have tickled the people of his Age; but amongst the Moderns he is not so Successful. (18).

A good example of Juvenal's "railing," at least according to Dryden's description of it, is his lengthy complaint about the vicissitudes of living in Rome, found within his Third Satire (2004). Within that portion of his Third Satire, Juvenal elaborately rails against the many economic social injustices against the poor of Rome, and about how the times are such that only the wealthy are respected, appreciated, or treated humanely within the city:

The poor man's always a target for everyone's mocking laughter, with his torn and dirt-encrusted top-coat, his grubby toga, one shoe agape where the leather's split open -- ... (1-4).

Even worse, the poor of Rome, merely for being poor, are directly mocked and taunted by others financially better off than themselves, even those who may well be far less respectable, or deserving, than them:

You! Get out of those front-row seats,' " we're told.

You ought to be ashamed -- your incomes are far too meagre! The law's the law. Make way for some pander's son and heir, spawned in an unknown brothel;

yield your place to the offspring of that natty auctioneer with the trainer's son and the ring-fighter's brat applauding beside him! (153-7).

Further, according to those within Rome who are better off: "All low-income citizens should have marched out of town, in a body, years ago" (162-3).

The tone of Horace's Satire 1.5, as opposed to that of Juvenal's Third Satire, then, is clearly gentler and more subtle; it is even, in places, (such as during the exchange between Messius and Sarmentus) cleverly elegant in its humor. Juvenal's satire, by comparison, however, is far less elegantly detached, and at times even angry sounding: "railing,"… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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