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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Focusing on writings by Samuel Butler (Hudibras), John Dryden (Absalom and Achitophel), and Jonathan Swift (A Tale of a Tub), this chapter examines satire in verse and prose attacking a variety of forms of dissent. Such Anglican satiric writings regularly associated dissenting politics and devotion with hypocrisy in many forms. Dissent is represented as politically manipulative, ethically flexible, and interpretatively deceptive or erroneous, appropriating biblical texts to dissenting agendas. In a period where ironic, or rhetorical, or parabolic writing against religions of any stripe was typically considered suspicious or transgressive, however, the ironic methods used by these Anglican satirists, and most especially by Swift, involved serious difficulties of reception, and of interpretation.

Keywords: Samuel Butler, Hudibras, John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel, Jonathan Swift, Tale of a Tub, dissent, hypocrisy, Bible, irony

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