Unformatted text preview: Chloe Ledvina
October 9, 2018
Theatre History Paper I
John Moreanao Contemporary Satire vs 17th Century Satire “If you don’t have anything nice to say, you’re probably pretty fun to be around”
(Mahajan). Satirical quotes such as the one quoted here, comments on the flaws that humans
have. As a population the common phrase is, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything
at all, or some form of that. The quote above, states that while people know that is true, they
often have fun and still hang around, people who are rude because they can be pretty funny.
Satire has changed in many ways since the 17th Century. Satire today surronds everyone, and at
times, feels like it is not as present in theatre, where in the 17th Century, it was mainly in plays, as
they did not have access to the internet or television.
In the 17th Century, satire was found in plays. They made fun of aristocrats in a comedic
way. These plays were known as Comedies. The playwrites famous during this time made fun
how the aristocrats presented themselves. They were perfectly okay with sleeping with people
and having affairs, as long as their reputation was okay. They wanted to have the crazy life,
without the bad reputation. This often led to a china scene in plays. The china scene is when a
wife or lady of some sorts, would ask the guy she was sleeping with for China, in front of her
husband or other people. They would go off to find china, making lots of noise and then would
come back with one piece of china. The people outside would be oblivious to all of this. The oblivious person was to make fun of the fact that they lived these risky lives, while thinking that
nobody knew what they were doing. People were just pretending to be oblivious to what was
really going on in the lives of those around them, in order to keep good reputations in place. This
is because reputation was everything.
Contemporary satire is found everywhere. It litters Facebook, television shows, iFunny,
YouTube, politics, etc. It is hard to get through a day without somehow being around satire.
Jimmy Kimmel is a good example of satire. He takes hot topics and makes fun of the people they
are about. One person always in the news now is Donald Trump. People make fun of his hair and
tan and twitter fights and policies and whatever else he gets into. These often show up in memes.
Memes are little pictures with a couple of captions on them. These captions range. Some of them
comment on ego and how social media has played a role in raising people’s egos. Some focus on
politics, whether they talk about voting rights, or about religion or the LGBTQ community, there
are plenty out there that we come across everyday. When I personally scroll through Facebook,
they pop up every couple of pictures or so. One that pops up quite often is one about parents
talking about how guns are a problem, after a school shooting, while their son is in the
background shooting up people on a video game. The news is often made fun of in satiricle
manor, about how they are always making stuff up. Satire comes in many forms, but it always
comments on our society.
Satiric authors all vary in what they are trying to get across. This is because their views
differ. One cartoon may comment on a domestic terrorist being affiliated to Al Queda or worse a
democrat, but the next one may comment on how it may be ISIS or worse, a republican.
However, the gist, is that we care more about hating a political party more than terroism. They
also comment on how guns are an issue in today’s culture. Some comment on how egos are very large because people are so concerned with social media likes and loves. Some comment on how
femisism is more a problem at this point than it is helping. Some comment on how our health
care system is more obsessed with money than they are actually helping people and curing them.
Some comment on how our current president is more concerned about how people view him than
actually helping fix the country. Some show how people are so obbessed with the best savings,
that they are not afraid to hurt people in the process of getting it, and some draw attention to how
addicted people are to their cellphones, to the point of not noticing anything else around them.
The satire around today helps bring awareness to the problems that the society has. However,
with all the disagreement that goes on today, it does not do much to help people change their
ways because they just disagree, or do not think that they are doing it.
I think that we are still struggling with some of the same problems that people did in the
17th Century. People are still obsessed with their reputation and the image that other people have
of them. This is why people post about their fancy vacations or the best times their having with
family. This is also why they watch to see how many likes they have and try to have as many
followers as possible on social media sites. I also think that women are still fighting for rights
like they did in the 17th Century. In the 17th Century they were fighting for their right to choose
who they wanted to marry. In today, we’re fighting for different rights such as equal pay, birth
control rights and the right to be believed when they say they are raped.
In conclusion, satire is still around today just as much, if not more than, in the 17th
Century. Today it is easier to come across and there is more of it every day. It is easy to upload
something to the internet and have many people see it on the same day. There is now television
which allows something new to be portrayed every night and this is very common with late night
comedy shows. Satire is still a fun and hilarious show and article to read and it passes the time well. As humans, we enjoy satire and satirical comedy just as much today, as we did in the 17th
Century, especially when it calls out the government. Works Cited Mahajan, Aanchal, et al. A Lump of Jaggery, 2017, lumpofjaggery.com/these-uninspirationalbrutally-honest-sayings-for-the-ones-too-tired-of-inspirational-quotes-will-make-yourday/. Accessed 10 Oct. 2018. ...
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