Satire In Aristophanes

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Humour as a powerful tool to change things: the status of women in yesterday’s and today’s satire. Since Aristophanes’ comedies, satire has been aiming at criticizing the injustices of the authorities as well as the moral wrongness of society. By the wise use of wit and humour, satire castigat ridendo mores, a Latin phrase coined by the 17th century French scholar Jean de Santeul. The meaning of the sentence is that one can change customs of society s/he is living in by laughing at them. In other words, the best way of changing things is to point out their absurdity and satirise them. According to Brilli (1967), Paulson (1967) and Hodgart (1969), satire’s main aim is to reveal reality for what it really is and to show the evil that operates in it, by taking a moral stand, exercising critical judgments or blaming the target of its action, who should be ridiculed and demeaned. In fact, the satirist always criticises his or her subjects in a mandatory way. However, behind a pars destruens, the refutable part of the theory, it is hidden a pars construens, the new positive thought arising from the first stage, following a specific pattern: “A is bad” implies that “B is good”, where A is the specular opposite of B and the object of the satirical expression. Focusing on how women are seen and treated in society, William Hogarth, an English painter and a great pictorial satirist of the 18th century, exposes in his work the lack of rights that women have. The artist’s satire
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