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Noun. Any form of literature
that blends HUMOR with
CRITICISM for the purpose of
ridiculing folly, vice, stupidity in
individuals and/or institutions.
The necessary ingredients
 Humor
 Criticism, either general criticism of
humanity or human nature or specific
criticism of an individual or group
 Some kind of moral voice: simply
mocking or criticizing is not “satire”
The Satiric Manner
 Ironic/Sarcastic
 Either good natured criticism or bitterly
cynical denunciation
 Always opposed to pretense, affectation,
and hypocrisy
 More than a little bit prone to references
to things society finds taboo or disgusting
(bodily functions, sexuality, etc.)
Justification for Satire
Satire is usually justified as a way to
correct human vice and folly.
The aim of satire
– to ridicule the fault or failing of the
individual, rather than the
individual person
– to target only those faults that
are correctable, not those for which the
individual is not responsible.
Satire v. Comedy
Satire differs from comedy
– Comedy evokes laughter mainly as an
end in itself, while satire derides
– Satire uses laughter as a weapon, and
against the butt - an object - that
exists outside the work itself.
Direct/formal Satire = stating
a direct criticism humorously
This is the oldest and,
historically, most common form
of satiric writing.
The Simpson’s & Mad Magazine
Indirect Satire
Parody =
a work of literature that mimics
another work of literature, usually as a way
of criticizing it.
 Monty Python and the Holy Grail
 Scary Movie/Epic Movie
 A type of verbal irony in which
something is purposely represented as
being far less important than it actually
 Harsh, cutting, personal remarks
to or about someone
 Extreme exaggeration
Caricature = An exaggerated
portrayal of the weaknesses, frailties,
or humorous aspects of an individual or
Caricatures of the presidential
candidates by Saturday Night Live cast
members in ‘08 year actually changed the
way that the candidates performed in
Exaggeration =
tale/fish story)
Stretching the truth (tall
Literary Devices
 Irony
– All three types of irony are integral to the
satirical format
 Dramatic Irony
– When the audience knows more than a
 Situational Irony
– When what happens is different from
the audience’s expectations
 Verbal Irony
– When a character or writer says
something different than when he or
she truly means