Satirists, News Men, and Literary Critics: Jonathan Swift / Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele

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Short AnswerQuestions

Read another of either Steele’s or Addison’s essays in your textbook (from pages 2470-2492) and discuss whether the author fits the descriptions of “wit” given by Locke, Dryden, and Addison himself. In what ways do they (or not) show themselves to be an example of “true wit.” Be specific and refer to the text with quotations.

In our discussion about Swift, it was stated that Swift “raised questions in his writing concerning the achievements of civilization (advancing technology, institutions, and refinement of manners) and whether or not they were possibly very complex forms of ‘barbarism.'” Considering the two texts of Swift’s that you have read for this lesson, are there any examples in them of the “barbaric” aspects of civilization hidden beneath “politeness” and technology? Reference the text specifically.

Pope writes his “Essay on Criticism” in poetry. How might this support Pope’s ideas about traditional values and classical models?

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