Jonathan Swift: The Great Satirist

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Jonathan Swift is known as one the greatest satirists in literature. His experience in religion, politics and science allow his works to be considered genius in the world of writing. Swift’s writing laid the foundation for several satirical successors. Swift was born in 1667 in Dublin, Ireland. His father had passed away “right before [he] was born” (Draper 3531). He was left “in the care of relatives” for the first three years of his life, while his mother returned to England to take care of business (Cody). Swift’s parents, Jonathan and Abigail, were both Protestants. His religion played a major role in his life, which led to his later career as a Protestant minister. Jonathan Swift started his education at six years old, when he attended Kilkenny Grammar School, “which was, at the time, the best in Ireland” (Cody). He graduated from Trinity College when he was nineteen, however he wasn’t the best student in school. Shortly after graduating, Trinity College closed during the Glorious Revolution. In 1689, Swift became Sir William Temple’s secretary. Along with becoming Temple’s new secretary, Swift also met and fell in love with a woman named Esther Johnson. Esther is better known as the “‘Stella’ of his famous Journal to Stella” (Byers 52). Surprisingly enough, she was thirteen years younger than Swift. When Swift was 25, “he returned to Ireland to take holy orders” and this is where he established his career in the Anglican church (Cody). Swift had also started writing several pieces in the genre of satire. One of his early satires includes A Tale of a Tub which mocks Western Christianity. Writing a piece like this was very risky for Swift to do, mostly because his position in any church would be jeopardized. The next s... ... middle of paper ... ...wift truly deserves to be labeled as “the foremost prose satirist in English language” (Byers 51). Works Cited Bloom, Harold. Jonathan Swift. New York: Chelsea House, 1986. Print. Byers, Paula K., and Suzanne M. Bourgoin. Encyclopedia of world biography. [Volume 15], Studi-Visser. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Print. Cody, David. "Jonathan Swift: A Brief Biography." N.p., June 2000. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. Draper, James P., and Gale Research Company. World literature criticism. [Volume 6], Stoker- Zola, indexes : 1500 to the present : a selection of major authors from Gale's literary criticism serie. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. Print. Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver's travels into several remote nations of the world. Waiheke Island: Floating Press, 2008. Print. Swift, Jonathan. A modest proposal and other satirical works. New York: Dover, 1996. Print.
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