Satire – Definition, Examples and Types | Know the Tips & Use of Satire

Satire is a type of literary device, authors and writers use this device to add humor to their writings. Some common themes used for making a satire are sarcasm, irony, humor, etc. It is often an unfunny way of poking fun at the powers that be. Overtime satire has also developed into a genre of its own. In this article, we will discuss in detail satire like types, examples, and many more.

Definition of Satire

A satire is mainly used to criticize or make fun of something or someone. Many writers also use satire as a form to depict or make social commentary on relevant issues. As a general rule of literature, it is much more accessible and digestible for the audience to criticize public figures or people in higher positions. Attacking the common man is not taken very positively by the people.

Examples of Satire

There are many forms of media, art and entertainment includes movies, magazines, newspapers and poetry. LLet us look into some common examples of satire are given below.

  • Shrek–a movie that satirizes fairy tales
  • The Onion is–American digital media and newspaper company that satirizes everyday news on an international, national and local level.
  • Scream–movie satirizing the horror genre
  • Tomorrow is a satire on today and shows its weakness. (Edward Young)
  • Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  • The Simpsons
  • Satire is a lesson, parody is a game.

What is the Use of Satire?

There are also some additional details about satire that the people are unfamiliar with. People can get confused with the term satire as it depicts the genre and literary device. The use of the term satire is quite similar to the term comedy. Just as comedy is comedic, Satire is satirical. The most common use of Satire is to induce comedy among the audience, but sometimes it is used to make social comments on public issues. An example of this is American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. A satire also coincides with other literary devices such as irony, juxtaposition, and parody.

Types of Satire

Satire is divided into three types based on the satirists. These divisions are based on the framework the artists gave, they don’t have any strict rules or guidelines. It is ideal if you follow or refer to their framework, as this will help you gain more clarity.

1. Horatian Satire: This type of Satire is more on the comedic side. It uses a gentler tone than other types of satires. Mainly the narrator or the writer points out the flaws of a human being in this type of writing. The main agenda of the writer here is to entertain the readers. The readers can also get valuable insights into the author’s mind and learn how they observe things. This type of Satire is not ideal for highlighting social issues or if you want to bring in change.

For example, “The Rape of the Lock” is a poem written by Alexander Pope. This poem is based on Horatian Satire, and it mocks the lack of wit in the English upper class.

2. Juvenalian Satire: This type of Satire is more tragic and dark. It is not best suited for providing comic relief. Juvenalian Satire mostly has traces of irony for highlighting the issues in society. It often targets the wealthy people in society or those in higher positions. Writers use this literary device to highlight the wrongdoings of any institution or public figure. Through their tone, you can easily differentiate between a Horatian satire and a Juvenalian satire.

3. Menippean Satire: This Satire category is less famous than other types of satire, but it is the oldest form of satire. This satire hits the worldview or the mindsets of the people. It doesn’t target a specific group of people.

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Some Literary Devices that are Used in Satire

Satire usually consists of a lot of other literary devices. These devices enhance the effect of Satire. We will discuss some of the most common lord devices used along with Satire.

  • Irony:- An irony can be used in verbal or nonverbal form. The irony is the use of words in other contexts to their literal meaning. The writers can use this type of irony to showcase the disconnect between the situation and what is being said. This is a literary device used for highlighting certain aspects of a character, such as their lack of awareness due to their inability to understand.
  • Anachronism: It refers to an object, thing, or person that does not belong to the scene’s time frame. People using Satire in their speech or writing use anachronisms to depict how out of synch the main character is concerning the situation.
  • Parody:- This style of literature usually makes fun of other things. This literary device is used with a humorous effect to lighten the scene’s situation or mood. Parodies that generally showcase satire exaggerate stuff. This exaggeration is done so that it is evident to the readers that something is wrong with the situation.
  • Understatement:- This is the next literary device used along with satire. An understatement is when the writer deliberately downplays a thing’s scale, size, importance, and so on. This literary device is mainly used to make the characters and the writing deceptive to the audience.
  • Overstatement:- This literary device is the opposite of an understatement. Overstatement is exaggerating the scope and size of a situation or a scene only to reveal the actual scope. Overstatement is used to create a difference of opinion among the readers.

English Grammar Notes website covers the most popular grammar points using simple explanations, and examples which makes your practice easier.

Frequently Asked Questions on Satire

1. What is satire in simple words?

Satire is the art of making fun of someone or something that looks ridiculous, raising laughter in order to embarrass.

2. How do you identify a satire?

Identifying Satire is not that difficult. Some specific characteristics of a satire will make it easier for you to identify them. A satire performs either of the two functions, whether it will induce a sense of comic relief, introduce a controversial topic, or comment on social issues.

3. What is a modern example of satire? 

Political cartoons or comics are modern examples of Satire. The cartoons that make fun of politicians, political parties, or events are all based on the satire genre. Satire is a prevalent genre in movies and tv shows as well. One famous example of a satirical tv show is the Family guy. It is an American animated cartoon tv show based on the life of middle-class people living there.

Final Words

We as a team have given complete information about Satire. Hope it is useful for you and satire is a pervasive and valuable literary device, as seen in the above article. It allows the writers to say or convey many things without using many words. Stay connected with our website to avail of more latest updates.

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