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Making MockeryThe Poetics of Ancient Satire$
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Ralph Rosen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309966.001.0001

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Mockery, Self-Mockery, and the Didactic Ruse

Mockery, Self-Mockery, and the Didactic Ruse

Juvenal, Satires 9 and 5

(p.207) 6 Mockery, Self-Mockery, and the Didactic Ruse
Making Mockery

Ralph M. Rosen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the two satires of Juvenal, 9 and 5 (in that order), and argues that they should be read as deeply programmatic. What they reveal is a self-consciousness about virtually all the elements of satire and mockery that the book has treated. Topics addressed are Juvenal's hallmark indignatio, the problem of “autobiography” and didactic posturing, and problems with “persona-theory”. The chapter argues specifically that with Naevolus in Sat. 9 Juvenal has created a particularly disreputable character to function as an alter-ego, and in so doing calls into question the stability of his self-righteous mockery of him. In the end, the satirist becomes as abject and risible as his targets, even as he maintains the sympathies of his audience — strategies that were found to be at work in other poets in earlier chapters.

Keywords:   Juvenal, Roman satire, indignatio, persona theory, self-righteousness, didactic pose

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