What Is Satire?Professor Will Adams Valencia College Fall 2011
DefinitionO A literary work that ridicules its subject in order to make a comment or criticism about it.O Although satire is usually witty, and often very funny, the purpose of satire is to criticize in order to shame someone or something into reform.O Satire usually has a definite target, which may be a person or group of people, an idea or attitude, an institution or a social practice.
First Type of SatireO Formal O In formal satire, the satiric voice speaks, usually in the first person, either directly to the reader or to a character in the written work. O There are two types of formal satire: Horatian and Juvenalian
Horatian SatireO Horatian Satire, named for the Roman poet, Horace, is gentle, urbane, smiling; it aims to correct through gentle and sympathetic laughter.
Juvenalian SatireO Juvenalian Satire, named for the Roman poet Juvenal, is biting, bitter, angry; it points with contempt and moral indignation to the corruption and evil of human beings and institutions.
Second Type of SatireIndirect Satire:O In indirect satire, the satire is expressed through a narrative, and the characters or groups who are the focus of the satire are ridiculed not by what is said about them, but by what they themselves say and do.O Much of the great literary satire is indirect.
Examples of Indirect Satire:O The Simpsons O CluelessO Family Guy O Saturday NightO South Park LiveO Brave New World O MAD TVO Great O Naked Gun Expectations O The Truman ShowO Scary Movie 1, 2 O Scrubs and 3 O Huckleberry FinnO Chappelle’s Show
Questions to ConsiderO What is the author’s tone?O What is the author’s purpose?O Is it effective?O What is the dominant satirical device used?
Four Techniques of Satire1. Exaggeration To enlarge, increase, or represent something beyond normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen.2. Incongruity To present things that are out of place or are absurd in relation to their surroundings.3. Reversal To present the opposite of the normal order (e.g., the order of events hierarchical order).4. Parody To imitate the techniques and/or style of some person, place or thing.