The Most Famous Satirist in English Literature: Ranking the Top Names

Choose the satirist you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 15, 2024 08:26
Satire has long been an essential ingredient in the world of English literature, and now it's time to weigh in on the masters of this scintillating craft! Delve into the witty, the mischievous, and the downright hilarious as you help us rank the most renowned satirists in English literature. From the acerbic genius of Jonathan Swift to the biting social commentary of Oscar Wilde, these literary heroes have left their indelible mark on the pages of history. So, who will reign supreme in the realm of satire? Cast your vote now and make your voice heard! And if you think we've missed a worthy candidate, don't hesitate to suggest a new contender. Together, let's celebrate the razor-sharp wit and incisive insight that have made satire such an enduring and beloved tradition in English literature!

Who Is the Most Famous Satirist in English Literature?

  1. 1
    Jonathan Swift
    Charles Jervas · Public domain
    Known for his satirical masterpiece "Gulliver's Travels," Swift was a prominent satirist of his time. His works often criticized the political and social issues of 18th-century England.
    Jonathan Swift in other rankings
  2. 2
    Oscar Wilde
    W. & D. Downey · Public domain
    Wilde's satirical plays, such as "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "A Woman of No Importance," poked fun at the upper class and their societal norms.
    Oscar Wilde in other rankings
  3. 3
    Best known for his novel "1984" and essay "Politics and the English Language," Orwell used satire to criticize totalitarianism and propaganda.
    George Orwell in other rankings
  4. 4
    Mark Twain
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Twain's novels, such as "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," satirized American society and culture in the mid-19th century.
    Mark Twain in other rankings
  5. 5
    Jane Austen
    Cassandra Austen · Public domain
    While Austen is primarily known for her romantic novels, such as "Pride and Prejudice," her works also contained satirical elements that criticized the social norms and expectations of her time.
    Jane Austen in other rankings
  6. 6
    A French writer and philosopher, Voltaire's satirical works, such as "Candide," criticized religion, politics, and society in 18th-century France.
  7. 7
    Samuel Butler
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Butler's satirical novel "Erewhon" criticized Victorian society and its obsession with progress and technology.
  8. 8
    Alexander Pope
    Michael Dahl · Public domain
    Pope's satirical poems, such as "The Rape of the Lock," criticized the aristocracy and their frivolous lifestyles in 18th-century England.
    Alexander Pope in other rankings
  9. 9
    Lewis Carroll
    Lewis Carroll · Public domain
    While Carroll is best known for his children's book "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," his works also contained satirical elements that criticized Victorian society and its institutions.
    Lewis Carroll in other rankings
  10. 10
    Dryden's satirical poems, such as "Mac Flecknoe," criticized the literary and political figures of his time in 17th-century England.
    John Dryden in other rankings

Missing your favorite satirist?


Ranking factors for famous satirist

  1. Influence
    The impact and extent of the satirist's influence on subsequent literary works, movements, or societal perspectives.
  2. Body of work
    The quantity and quality of the satirist's works, including their range, depth, and consistency.
  3. Popularity
    The level of recognition and popularity the satirist enjoys, both during their time and in subsequent periods.
  4. Historical context
    The relevance and timeliness of the satirist's works in addressing contemporary issues and societal concerns.
  5. Innovativeness
    The satirist's ability to introduce innovative techniques, styles, or approaches to satire that distinguish them from their peers.
  6. Enduring legacy
    The lasting impact and continued relevance of the satirist's works in literature and broader cultural discourse.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous satirist in English literature. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Satirist is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 178 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Satirist once every 24 hours. The rank of each Satirist is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous satirist in english literature

Satire has been an integral part of English literature for centuries, with writers using this form of writing to criticize and comment on various aspects of society. However, when it comes to identifying the most famous satirist in English literature, opinions can differ. One name that often comes to mind is Jonathan Swift, the author of "Gulliver's Travels." This satirical novel, published in 1726, is a masterpiece of political and social commentary. Swift's use of the fantastic elements of the story, such as the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnagians, allowed him to satirize the political landscape of his time in a way that was both entertaining and insightful. Another notable satirist is Oscar Wilde, whose plays and novels often featured biting wit and social commentary. His most famous work, "The Importance of Being Earnest," is a satirical masterpiece that skewers the hypocrisy and superficiality of the upper classes in Victorian England. Other satirists who have made significant contributions to English literature include George Orwell, who used his writing to expose the dangers of totalitarianism, and Jane Austen, whose novels often satirized the social norms and expectations of the landed gentry. In short, there are many famous satirists in English literature, each with their own unique style and perspective. Regardless of who is considered the most famous, it is clear that satire has played an essential role in shaping English literature and continues to do so today.

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