satire

Classical Satirists

Outstanding among the classical satirists was the Greek dramatist Aristophanes, whose play The Clouds (423 B.C.) satirizes Socrates as the embodiment of atheism and sophistry, while The Wasps (422) satirizes the Athenian court system. The satiric styles of two Roman poets, Horace and Juvenal, became models for writers of later ages. The satire of Horace is mild, gently amused, yet sophisticated, whereas that of Juvenal is vitriolic and replete with moral indignation; Shakespeare later wrote Horatian satire and Jonathan Swift wrote Juvenalian satire.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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