Values were in the melting-pot. Prophetic voices had for long been attacking Victorian acceptances; religious belief had been shaken by science; sexual taboos were now weakening. It is no simple revolution, or reversal. Life tingles as excitingly in patriotism as in socialism; national revivals are active in Scotland, Wales and Ireland; and the powers stirring on the Continent have their analogies in Britain. The operas introduce people to an irrational world countered on choice occasions by an exaggerated logic, as when in The Pirates of Penzance the hero's attainment of his twenty-first birthday is denied on the ground that he was born on the twenty-ninth of February, Satire is often contained, but there is no settled satiric aim; the satire exists mainly in revealing inconsequences beneath convention. The method of the more famous operas is not strictly satiric, but rather one of catharsis, or sublimation, through melody.