Week 6 Paper Topic (Group B)

Submitted by francisk on Mon, 01/28/2008 - 9:51pm.

You can choose from the following two prompts. 


Prompt 1: In his letter to Martin Dorp, Erasmus claims that “I wanted to mock, not to attack; to benefit, not to wound; to comment on men’s manners, not to denounce them.” (231) Assess this claim based on selected passages from The Praise of Folly. Do you think Erasmus is being sincere about his intentions?


Prompt 2: From Aristophanes’ Clouds (where Socrates is ruthlessly mocked) to contemporary “news” like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, satire has a long history. Based on The Praise of Folly, assess the strengths and weaknesses of satire as a literary genre. What unique possibilities and limitations does satire offer when it comes to educating, persuading, or inspiring its audience?