Satire: Meaning Of Term And Its Types

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When people hear that they have to take literature, people think it’s the end of the word. Literature is misunderstood by the younger generation. Not fully understanding what literature is. Literature is known to be a term used to describe written or spoken material. Derived from the Latin word literature meaning ‘writing formed with letters,’ literature most commonly refers to works of the creative imagination, including poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and in some instances, journalism, and song. Literature is actually important; we need it in order to connect with our own humanity. It provides growth and strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box. Literature is nothing but full of literary terms that allow writers and speakers to make thoughtful comments on society, politics, or even trends. Rhetorical devices are used to strengthen arguments that persuade and convince audiences. it is a way for the present to connect to the possible future. Storytelling is one way for humans to reach out to other humans. The reason why we study literature is to learn about the history that we haven’t experienced that we are not familiar with. Literature forces our minds to picture and think and feel what the writer feels and thinks. Out of the long list of literary terms, there’s one in particular word that should be focused on; that word is satire. Understanding the literature term satire can make reading and writing a little bit more easily.

The word satire is a literary term that has been around for thousands of years. So, it’s inevitable it has developed many complexities as a literary genre throughout its evolution.

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The word was developed by the first Roman; Quintilian, who had discussed satire critically. He invented the term to describe the writings of Gaius Lucilius. Lucilius was a roman writer who was known to be the father of satire. The two most prominent and influential ancient Roman satirists are Horace and Juvenal, who wrote during the early days of the Roman Empire.

Satire can be a little difficult to use in writing. In order to take a serious subject and try to make a serious comment on it in a way that across with a little bit of humor, the author needs to focus on some very important areas. In order to use this type of technique in writing, the author must be intelligent, well-read and informed, and relevant. The author also has to be passionate about what she/he believes in. When using satire, it’s important to follow these steps which are; using exaggeration. Exaggeration is the lifeblood of satire. It would be hard to find anything worth satirizing without exaggeration. Next, the writer must make normal appear abnormal or vise versa. Then the next step would be to flip things in their thoughts and subvert them. When doing this, focus on the idea of reversal. The last two-step in successful writing satire is using the art of imitation to take the mickey and not to worry about being laugh out loud funny.

In today’s literature, the word satire is defined as “a technique employed by writers to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption of an individual or a society, by using humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule. It intends to improve humanity by criticizing its follies and foibles.” (Satire , 2018) The word satire became the method of commenting about society, politics, leadership, or anything the public doesn’t make sense, in a darkly humorous, and often subtly offensive way. Satire can be the very effective technique used by writers if done well. Satire has the ability to offend and tickle the audience at the same time. This word is never executed without a clear message intended from the outset.

There are three different types of satire and these are the most commonly used in literature. The first one is Horatian satire. This is used by writers whose only goal is to make people laugh. Horatian satire is named after the Roman Satirist, Horace. Horace “started writing satirical poetry in 35BC—his aim was largely to entertain with wry humor, wit, and light-hearted mockery, avoiding negativity by refusing to place blame on others for any perceived misgivings.” (Edley, 2017). This style of satire is the mildest and gentlest from there is. It merely focused on highlights human folly and all its myriad forms.

Next, we have the Juvenalian satire that deals with anger. For example, if someone wanted to undermine the power and authority of the status quo and attack the venality of the political class or religious leaders, then Juvenalian satire would be the best one. This type of satire s meant to attack individuals, governments, and organizations to expose hypocrisy and moral transgression. This form of satire was originated by Roman juvenal in the late 1st century. BC. This is effective if a writer had a strong point to make or a clear target for disdain.

Lastly, the last type of satire is called Menippean satire. This type of satire tends to focus on individual characters’ flaw or traitsnality trait such as a mental attitude. This was developed “from the Greek philosopher Menippus from the 3rd century BCE, this type of satire is much less aggressive than Juvenalian satire, but notably more judgmental than its Horatian cousin.” Menippean satire is ultimately in the portrayal of a characters’ views, connected to a specific mental drawback or an inherent personality foible. That’s the main thing that separates it from the other types of satire.

Learning these three types of satire can be useful when writing a paper. So, therefore, understanding what makes each type of satire unique will give writers the tools they need to experiment and keep this literary tradition alive. Mastering and learning how to use this technique will better improve my writing skills.

In the reading, Tartuffe by Moliere, one of the themes had to deal with satire. for example, Moliere is satirizing the false piety of all those who pretend a humility they do not feel, and wear a pious, holy countenance while thinking lustful thoughts. Another example of satire in literature would some of the books written by Mark Twain. He uses satire as a tool to share his ideas and opinions on slavery, human nature, and many other issues that were hurting American society at the time.

Also, we experience satire in our everyday life without even knowing it sometimes. For example, we have a political cartoon that a handful of Americans see in newspapers and magazines that demonstrates satire. Those cartoons criticize some recent actions of political figures in a comical way. Satire also appears in some shows on TV like the daily show, the Larry sanders show. These shows target what they think are stupid political and social viewpoints.

In conclusion, the word satire is a common literary term that has been around for a long time. Satire is in our everyday life with us not even realizing it. There’s satire in Television shows, newspapers, magazine, to even the conversations we have with other people. Satire can be defined as the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices in the context of social or literature. Satire can be gentle or savage, incisive or vague, but it will always highlight a serious concern. There’s three different types of satire which are; Horatian satire, Juvenalian satire, Menippean Satire. These are the most common one used in today literature. satire is a powerful art form which has the ability to point out the deficiencies in certain human behaviors and the social issues which result from them in such a way that they become absurd, even hilarious, which is therefore entertaining and reaches a wide audience. 


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