36 terms

Satire

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Horatian
After the Roman satirist Horace: Satire in which the voice is indulgent, tolerant, amused, and witty. The speaker holds up to gentle ridicule the absurdities and follies of human beings, aiming at producing in the reader a wry smile rather than anger or scorn.
Juvenalian
After the Roman satirist Juvenal: Formal satire in which the speaker attacks vice and error with contempt and indignation. It produces anger and scorn in readers.
Burlesque
A form of comedy characterized by ridiculous exaggeration and distortion, especially language. A serious subject may be treated frivolously or a frivolous subject seriously. The essential quality that makes for this satire is the discrepancy between subject matter and style: a style ordinarily dignified may be used for nonsensical matter or a style very nonsensical may be used to ridicule a weighty subject.
Parody
A composition that imitates the serious manner and characteristic features of a particular work, or the distinctive style of its maker, and applies the imitation to a lowly or comically inappropriate subject. The reader must know the original text for this type of satire to be successful.
Reductio ad absurdum
A popular satire technique (especially in Swift), whereby the author agrees enthusiastically with the basic attitudes or assumptions he wishes to satirize and, by pushing them to a logically ridiculous extreme, exposes the foolishness of the original attitudes and assumptions. They are sometimes dangerous either because the reader does not recognize the satire at work or because the reader fails to identify the target clearly.
Caricature
A literary style focusing on one characteristic, quality, or feature of a person or group of people, exaggerating it to a humorous level. They are most often and obvious in political cartoons.
Exaggeration
To enlarge, increase, or represent something beyond normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen.
Wit
Verbal cleverness. It suggests intellectual brilliance and delight in its ability to entertain, and requires verbal skill beyond a simple knowledge of words. It is often used ironically, or even sarcastically, to ridicule or insult someone.
Epigram
Short, comic remark typically containing a "surprise" at the end, which makes it humorous. While clever, they are often obscene or nasty in nature. Successful ones are used to insult another.
Repartee
A person's ability to respond to an insult quickly and directly, often using sarcasm or wit in the response.
Allusion
A reference to another famous or well-known event, work of literature, person or group of people, film, artwork, etc.
Tone
The author's attitude toward a subject. in satire, it is often achieved through diction (word choice) and incongruous juxtaposition.
Antithesis
Using opposite phrases in close conjunction. Examples might be, "I burn and I freeze." or "Her character is white as sunlight, black as midnight." The best ones express their contrary ideas in a balanced sentence. It can be a contrast of opposites: "Evil men fear authority, good men cherish it."
Incongruity
To present things that are out of place or are absurd in relation to its surroundings. Particular techniques include oxymoron, metaphor, and irony.
Oxymoron
Using contradiction in a manner that oddly makes sense on a deeper level. Simple or joking examples include jumbo shrimp, sophisticated rednecks, and military intelligence. The richest literary ones seem to reveal a deeper truth through their contradictions. These are sometimes called paradoxes.
Reversal
To present the opposite of normal order. It can focus on the order of events, such as serving dessert before the main dish or having breakfast for dinner. Additionally, it can focus on hierarchical order - for instance, when a young child makes all the decisions for a family or when an administrative assistant dictates what the company president decides and does.
Animal imagery
Reduces a man's purposeful actions, the ambitious aims of which he is proud and the lusts of which he is ashamed, all to the level or brute instinct.
Destruction of the symbol
A satirist who wants to show that an emblem is being used for unjust ends pretends not to understand its symbolic connotations. The person fails to see the symbolic values which society attaches to apparently trivial objects and actions.
Verbal irony
A device where what is said is the opposite of what is meant. Sarcasm, a form of irony employed to insult or slight, is its crudest form.
Antiphrasis - irony
A figure of speech in which a single word is used in a sense directly opposite to its usual meaning, for example, naming a giant Tiny.
Meiosis - irony
A rhetorical understatement by which something is referred to in terms less important than it really deserves, for example calling a fatal wound a scratch.
Ironic simile
Verbal irony where a speaker uses a form of simile to communicate the opposite of what they mean, for example clear as mud.
Structural irony
This device involves the use of naive or deluded hero or unreliable narrator whose view of the world differs widely from the true circumstances recognized by the author and readers. It flatters its readers' intelligence at the expense of a character (or fictional narrator).
Dramatic irony
A similar sense of detached superiority to that of structural irony is achieved with this device. The audience knows more about a character's situation than the character does, foreseeing an outcome contrary to the character's expectations, and thus ascribing a sharply different sense to some of the character's own statements (Often called tragic irony in tragedies).
Situational irony
Irony involving a situation in which actions have an effect that is opposite from what was intended, so that the outcome is contrary to what was expected.
Cosmic irony
Used to denote a view of people as dupes of a cruelly mocking fate. Closely connected with situational irony, it arises from sharp contrasts between reality and human ideals, or between human intentions and actual results. The resulting situation is poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.
Historical irony
Cosmic irony through time.
Monologue - satire structure
The satirist usually is speaking from behind a thinly veiled mask. He states his view of a problem, cites examples, and endeavors to impose his views on the reader/listener.
Parody - satire structure
The satirist takes an existing work of literature that was created with a serious purpose, or a literary form in which some reputable books and poems have been written. He then makes the work look ridiculous by infusing it with incongruous ideas; he makes the ideas look foolish by putting them into an inappropriate form.
Narrative - satire structure
Here the author does not appear (fiction speaks for him/her).
Pessimists - character type
People with a gloomy outlook of the world and always expect the worst to happen.
Misanthropes - character type
Those who despise and distrust the human race.
Cynics - character type
People who do not trust the sincerity and/or motives of others.
Optimists - character type
A person who counters the pessimist. Those who view the world with hope and expect the best outcomes.
Philanthropists - character type
One, opposed to misanthropes, who works to better the world and love the human race.
Pollyanna - character type
Someone who trust "the sun will come out tomorrow" regardless of how many misfortunes they must endure.