English literature in the 18th century is mainly satirical in tone and style. So the time is often regarded as an age of satire. We find here John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, and many others who use satire as a weapon to strike the attention of the then rulers. The objective of satire is critical, but a good satire as noted by Dryden, has clinical and corrective effects, too.
The 18th century is essentially an Age of Satire. Actually, in the 18th-century Satire is everywhere in the air. There is satire in poetry, in drama, in prose as well as in the essay and novel. Indeed, it is a great age of prose satire, and Jonathan Swift, the greatest of prose satirists in English, belongs to this period. Now, we will discuss the 18th century as an age of satire.
Jonathan swift was a great Irish writer. He is one of the greatest satirists of the 18th century. As a satirist, he earned popularity. He is a bitter satirist. “The Battle of the Books” is his first work. It has an allegorical setting. “The Tale of a Tub” is one of the fiercest satire in the English language. It is a savage attack of the churches. Its irony is deadly.”Gulliver’s Travels” is the most popular work of Swift. It is a bitter satire. In this book, ha satirizes to the politics, religion, science, woman, and the human race of the 18th century.
Alexander Pope was a great master in the field of satire. Some of his famous satire is The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, The Epistle to Arbuthnot, Moral Essays, etc.
“The Rape of the Lock” is a mock-heroic poem. It is a brilliant piece of workmanship, breathing the very spirit of the time and contain the picture of the contemporary fashionable society of London. In “The Dunciad”, he is satirical not only of vicious and foolish men and women but also of those who had criticized.
In conclusion, we can say that satire is the predominant form of literature of the 18th century age and Swift, Pope used this powerful weapon in their famous works. That is why the 18th century age is often called the age of satire.
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