Guide to Literary Terms Lampoon

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Lampoon - prose or verse, sometimes in the form of sharp satire, which severely ridicules the character, intentions, or behavior of a person, institution, or society. Lampoons appeared often in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, but are less common today because of libel laws.

The term is taken from the Old French lampon which was derived from lampos, meaning “let us guzzle (used as a refrain in derogatory songs).”

Dryden lampoons Shadwell, whom he names Og in “Absalom and Achitophel - Part II.”

Now stop your noses, Readers, all and some,
For here’s a tun of Midnight work to come,
Og from a Treason Tavern rowling home.
Round as a Globe and Liquored ev’ry chink,
Goodly and Great he Sayls behind his Link,
With all this Bulk there’s nothing lost in Og,
For ev’ry inch that is not Fool is Rogue:
A Monstrous mass of foul corrupted matter,
As all the Devils had spew’d to make the batter,
When wine has given him courage to Blaspheme,
He curses God, but God before curst him;
And if man cou’d have reason, none has more,
That made his Paunch so rich and him so poor.
lines 457 – 469

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