Satire is the mode of writing that seems most congenial to the neoclassical mindset, yet it is at the same time the place where this mindset is most thoroughly called into question. No other genre teaches us so much about its time of origin, while also making us reflect on our own follies and anxieties – besides often being hysterically funny into the bargain. This seminar will explore how satire works in general, and give a guide to understanding how and where it hit home in its own time. We will look at some of the most prominent 18th-century examples from poetry through prose and drama to one of the earliest comic strips, gleefully wallowing in political and sexual corruption, human vanity, the filth of modern city life, until finally reaching the end of all civilization.