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The Function of Humour in Roman Verse Satire – Laughing and Lying - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Function of Humour in Roman Verse Satire: Laughing and Lying

Maria Plaza


Our image of Roman satire has developed from that of a static, moralizing genre to a deliberately complex form, but our approach to the humour intrinsic to satire has not developed accordingly. This book offers a comprehensive new analysis of humour in the writings of Horace, Persius, and Juvenal, with an excursus to Lucilius. The main thesis is that far from being an external means of sweetening the moral lesson, humour lies at the heart of Roman satire and shapes its paradoxical essence. The book argues that while the satirist needs humour for the aesthetic merit of his work, his ideological ... More

Keywords: paradox, Lucilius, Horace, Persius, Juvenal, target, self-irony, openness

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780199281114
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281114.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Maria Plaza, author
Junior Research Fellow, Gothenburg University