CLAS 230 Spring 2014 Making Fun at Rome: The Origins and Influence of Satire

Cross Listed as COMP230
Roman satire has exerted an influence on later literature that is entirely disproportionate to its brief life as a genre and its small number of practitioners. What was the secret to satire's success? As we attempt to answer that question we will examine issues of genre, gender, reception and innovation, satirical personas and the abject stance, inclusion and exclusion, sublimated violence, subversion and containment, theories of humor and laughter, and the Bakhtinian grotesque. We will consider the development of this most capacious and omnivorous genre from its precursors in the Greek comic poets and iambic lampooners through its heyday in the late Republic and early empire. We will then turn to considering how its very capaciousness allowed satire to rise above its generic constraints and flourish as a mode within other genres. Readings will include works by Aristophanes and from the Greek iambic tradition of invective; the Roman satire of Lucilius, Horace, Perseus, and Juvenal; and short selections from some of the most famous English-language successors of the Roman satirists, including Chaucer, Swift, Pope, More, Johnson, Byron, Butler, Twain, Mencken, Lehrer, and Stewart and Colbert.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, short reading responses, two papers of 5-7 pages, a midterm and a final exam
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: if the course is oversubscribed, preference will be given to majors and prospective majors in Classics, Comparative Literature, or other literatures
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Divisional Attributes: Division I
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Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 25
Class Number: 3870
CLAS230-01(S) LEC Making Fun at Rome Division 1: Languages and the Arts Erin Moodie
MR 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Hollander 158 3870
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