Indirect satire
Theory and Spenserian practice
in Spenserian satire

The first chapter begins with an analysis of indirect meaning-making in satire, discussing how allusion, symbol, and analogy can work to create allegorical satirical meanings that invite the reader to project insights from the text to the real world. Chapter 1 explores the literary, natural-historical, symbolic, and allegorical meanings that Spenser’s culture attached to foxes in order to give a sense of the complexity of Spenser’s use of animal imagery to create indirect satire in his most famous satirical character, the Fox of Mother Hubberds Tale. The chapter closes with a sketch of Spenser’s career as a satirist, aiming to create a sense of story and to connect the story of Spenser-as-satirist with better-known discussions of Spenser’s career trajectory from such scholars as Richard Helgerson and Patrick Cheney.

Spenserian satire

A tradition of indirection


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