Satire and Comedy

5374 WordsNov 21, 200922 Pages
Satire Satire is a term applied to any work of literature or art whose objective is ridicule. It has significant functions in social and political criticism. Satirical literature exposes foolishness in all its forms, such as vanity, hypocrisy, sentimentality etc. It also attempts to effect reform through such exposure. Satirists, therefore, design a work of literature focusing on human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings. They use satire as a literary technique to combat these vices and shortcomings, and "to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony or other methods" (New Encyclopedia Britannica, 1993, 10, 467).…show more content…
It is important to note in the above definition that satire involves the fusion of laughter and contempt. Inseparable from any definition of satire is its corrective purpose. Ian Gordon (2002) points out the corrective purpose of the satirist saying that the satirist "stands in opposition to the current state of affairs, endeavoring to change things either to what they were in a recalled and often mythologized, past, or to what they might be in a preferred, and frequently Utopian, future."It may follow from the above definitions that the corrective purpose of satire is expressed through a critical mode that includes laughter and contempt. Scholes and Sullivan (1986:8) define satire based on the view of the world presented in a literary text. They argue, "A work that presents a fictional world worse than the real world is in th e mode of anti-romance, or satire." They also suggest, "The world of satire emphasizes ugliness and disorder." These authors' claim remind us that the theme of satire can be presented through different techniques in order to maintain standards, reaffirm values, and to come up with reforms in the society. 15 To put it briefly, satire is concerned with the nature of reality. It exaggerates or understates to criticize human follies

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