Satire

Satire

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Satire is primarily a literary genre or form
Literary genre
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length. Genre should not be confused with age category, by which literature may be classified as either adult, young-adult, or children's. They also must not be confused...

, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic
Graphic arts
A type of fine art, graphic art covers a broad range of art forms. Graphic art is typically two-dimensional and includes calligraphy, photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, lithography, typography, serigraphy , and bindery. Graphic art also consists of drawn plans and layouts for interior...

 and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule
Ridicule
Ridicule is a 1996 French film set in the 18th century at the decadent court of Versailles, where social status can rise and fall based on one's ability to mete out witty insults and avoid ridicule oneself...

, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism
Social criticism
The term social criticism locates the reasons for malicious conditions of the society in flawed social structures. People adhering to a social critics aim at practical solutions by specific measures, often consensual reform but sometimes also by powerful revolution.- European roots :Religious...

, using wit
Wit
Wit is a form of intellectual humour, and a wit is someone skilled in making witty remarks. Forms of wit include the quip and repartee.-Forms of wit:...

  as a weapon.

A common feature of satire is strong irony
Irony
Irony is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is a sharp incongruity or discordance that goes beyond the simple and evident intention of words or actions...

 or sarcasm
Sarcasm
Sarcasm is “a sharp, bitter, or cutting expression or remark; a bitter jibe or taunt.” Though irony and understatement is usually the immediate context, most authorities distinguish sarcasm from irony; however, others argue that sarcasm may or often does involve irony or employs...

—"in satire, irony is militant"—but parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

, burlesque, exaggeration
Exaggeration
Exaggeration is a representation of something in an excessive manner. The exaggerator has been a familiar figure in Western culture since at least Aristotle's discussion of the alazon: 'the boaster is regarded as one who pretends to have distinguished qualities which he possesses either not at all...

, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre
Double entendre
A double entendre or adianoeta is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué or ironic....

 are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. This "militant" irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to attack.

Satire is nowadays found in many artistic forms of expression, including literature, plays, commentary, and media such as lyrics.

Term


The word satire comes from the Latin word satur and the subsequent phrase lanx satura. Satur meant "full," but the juxtaposition with lanx shifted the meaning to "miscellany or medley": the expression lanx satura literally means "a full dish of various kinds of fruits."

The word satura as used by Quintilian
Quintilian
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing...

 however, indicated a narrower genre than what would be later intended as satire; it denoted only works in strictly hexameter
Hexameter
Hexameter is a metrical line of verse consisting of six feet. It was the standard epic metre in classical Greek and Latin literature, such as in the Iliad and Aeneid. Its use in other genres of composition include Horace's satires, and Ovid's Metamorphoses. According to Greek mythology, hexameter...

 form, which were a distinctly Roman genre. Quintilian famously said that satura, that is a satire in hexameter verses, was a literary genre of wholly Roman origin (satura tota nostra est). He was aware of and commented on Greek satire, but at the time did not label it as such, although today the origin of satire is considered to be Aristophanes' Old Comedy. The first critic to use satire in the modern broader sense was Apuleius
Apuleius
Apuleius was a Latin prose writer. He was a Berber, from Madaurus . He studied Platonist philosophy in Athens; travelled to Italy, Asia Minor and Egypt; and was an initiate in several cults or mysteries. The most famous incident in his life was when he was accused of using magic to gain the...

.

The derivation of satire from satura properly has nothing to do with the Greek mythological
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 figure satyr
Satyr
In Greek mythology, satyrs are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus — "satyresses" were a late invention of poets — that roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing....

. To Quintilian, the satire was a strict literary form, but the term soon escaped from the original narrow definition. Robert Elliott writes:
"As soon as a noun enters the domain of metaphor, as one modern scholar has pointed out, it clamours for extension; and satura (which had had no verbal, adverbial, or adjectival forms) was immediately broadened by appropriation from the Greek word for “satyr” (satyros) and its derivatives. The odd result is that the English “satire” comes from the Latin satura; but “satirize,” “satiric,” etc., are of Greek origin. By about the 4th century AD the writer of satires came to be known as satyricus; St. Jerome, for example, was called by one of his enemies 'a satirist in prose' ('satyricus scriptor in prosa'). Subsequent orthographic modifications obscured the Latin origin of the word satire: satura becomes satyra, and in England, by the 16th century, it was written 'satyre.'"

Satire and humour


Satirical works often contain "straight" humour, usually to give relief from what might otherwise be relentless preaching. Although this has always been so, it is probably more marked in modern satire. Yet some satire is not "funny", nor is meant to be. Obviously, not all humour - even on such topics as politics, religion or art, or using the great satirical tools of irony, parody, and burlesque - is necessarily "satirical"; the most light-hearted satire always has a serious "after-taste". The Ig Nobel Prize
Ig Nobel Prize
The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. The stated aim of the prizes is to "first make people laugh, and then make them think"...

 satire on trivial scientific research describes this as "first make people laugh, and then make them think" - a fair definition of satire itself.

The Italian satirical playwright Dario Fo
Dario Fo
Dario Fo is an Italian satirist, playwright, theater director, actor and composer. His dramatic work employs comedic methods of the ancient Italian commedia dell'arte, a theatrical style popular with the working classes. He currently owns and operates a theatre company with his wife, actress...

 points out the difference between satire and good-humoured teasing, or sfottò, which is an ancient form of buffoonery. According to Fo, satire has a subversive character; it is directed against oppression, and has a moral
Moral
A moral is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim...

 dimension. On the other hand sfottò (simple poking fun, benign spoof
Spoof
-General uses:* Parody by imitation* Satire, a literary technique of writing or art which principally ridicules its subject* Forgery of goods or documents* Spoof , a guessing game...

, light parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

ing and mockery) is a form of comedy without satire's subversive edge. Historically, people in positions of power have tried to censor and repress satire, but have often welcomed good-humoured buffoonery. From this, Fo draws criteria to tell real satire from sfottò, saying that one can tell real satire from the reaction it arouses in the powerful. Sfottò on a powerful individual, by focusing on superficial matters such as personal appearance, may actually draw sympathy towards its target; Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

 propagated jests and jokes against himself, with the aim of humanizing his image.

Types of Satire


Satirical literature can commonly be categorized as either Horatian or Juvenalian, although the two are not entirely mutually exclusive.

Horatian



Named for the Roman satirist, Horace
Horace
Quintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...

, this playfully criticizes some social vice through gentle, mild, and light-hearted humour. It directs with, exaggeration, and self-deprecating humour toward what it identifies as folly, rather than evil. Horatian satire's sympathetic tone is common in modern society.

Examples of Horatian satire include:
  • Daniel Defoe
    Daniel Defoe
    Daniel Defoe , born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain and along with others such as Richardson,...

    's The True-Born Englishman
    The True-Born Englishman
    "The True-Born Englishman" is a satirical poem published in 1701 by Daniel Defoe defending King William, who was Dutch, against xenophobic attacks, and ridiculing the notion of English racial purity. It became a popular success.. According to a preface Defoe supplied to an edition of 1703, the...

  • Alexander Pope
    Alexander Pope
    Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson...

    's The Rape of the Lock
    The Rape of the Lock
    The Rape of the Lock is a mock-heroic narrative poem written by Alexander Pope, first published anonymously in Lintot's Miscellany in May 1712 in two cantos , but then revised, expanded and reissued under Pope's name on March 2, 1714, in a much-expanded 5-canto version...

  • C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters
    The Screwtape Letters
    The Screwtape Letters is a satirical Christian apologetics novel written in epistolary style by C. S. Lewis, first published in book form in February 1942...

  • Matt Groening
    Matt Groening
    Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons and Futurama....

    's The Simpsons
    The Simpsons
    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

  • Rick Mercer
    Rick Mercer
    Richard Vincent "Rick" Mercer is a Canadian comedian, television personality, political satirist, and blogger.Mercer first came to national attention in 1990, when he premiered his one man show Show Me the Button, I'll Push It, or Charles Lynch Must Die at the Great Canadian Theatre Company in...

    's The Rick Mercer Report
  • The Ig Nobel Prize
    Ig Nobel Prize
    The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. The stated aim of the prizes is to "first make people laugh, and then make them think"...

    s.
  • Have I got news for you
    Have I Got News for You
    Have I Got News for You is a British television panel show produced by Hat Trick Productions for the BBC. It is based loosely on the BBC Radio 4 show The News Quiz, and has been broadcast since 1990, currently the BBC's longest-ever running television panel show...


Juvenalian


Named after the Roman satirist Juvenal
Juvenal
The Satires are a collection of satirical poems by the Latin author Juvenal written in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD.Juvenal is credited with sixteen known poems divided among five books; all are in the Roman genre of satire, which, at its most basic in the time of the author, comprised a...

, this type of satire is more contemptuous and abrasive than the Horatian. Juvenalian satire addresses social evil through scorn, outrage, and savage ridicule. This form is often pessimistic, characterized by irony, sarcasm, moral indignation and personal invective, with less emphasis on humour. Strongly polarized political satire is often Juvenalian.

Examples of Juvenalian satire:
  • Joseph Hall's Virgidemiarum
  • Jonathan Swift
    Jonathan Swift
    Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

    's A Modest Proposal
    A Modest Proposal
    A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...

     and The Predictions for the Ensuing Year (written as Isaac Bickerstaff
    Isaac Bickerstaff
    Isaac Bickerstaff Esq was a pseudonym used by Jonathan Swift as part of a hoax to predict the death of then famous Almanac–maker and astrologer John Partridge....

    ).
  • Samuel Johnson
    Samuel Johnson
    Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

    's London
  • George Orwell
    George Orwell
    Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

    's Nineteen Eighty-Four
    Nineteen Eighty-Four
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is a dystopian novel about Oceania, a society ruled by the oligarchical dictatorship of the Party...

     and Animal Farm
    Animal Farm
    Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II...

  • Bret Easton Ellis
    Bret Easton Ellis
    Bret Easton Ellis is an American novelist and short story writer. His works have been translated into 27 different languages. He was regarded as one of the so-called literary Brat Pack, which also included Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney...

    's American Psycho
    American Psycho
    American Psycho is a psychological thriller and satirical novel by Bret Easton Ellis, published in 1991. The story is told in the first person by the protagonist, serial killer and Manhattan businessman Patrick Bateman. The book's graphic violence and sexual content generated a great deal of...

  • Ray Bradbury
    Ray Bradbury
    Ray Douglas Bradbury is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th...

    ’s Fahrenheit 451
    Fahrenheit 451
    Fahrenheit 451 is a 1953 dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury. The novel presents a future American society where reading is outlawed and firemen start fires to burn books...

  • William Golding
    William Golding
    Sir William Gerald Golding was a British novelist, poet, playwright and Nobel Prize for Literature laureate, best known for his novel Lord of the Flies...

    's Lord of the Flies
    Lord of the Flies
    Lord of the Flies is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, with disastrous results...

  • Stanley Kubrick
    Stanley Kubrick
    Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

    's Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  • Aldous Huxley
    Aldous Huxley
    Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

    's Brave New World
    Brave New World
    Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's fifth novel, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 , the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of...

  • Anthony Burgess
    Anthony Burgess
    John Burgess Wilson  – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English author, poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is Burgess's most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works...

    ' A Clockwork Orange
    A Clockwork Orange
    A Clockwork Orange is a 1962 dystopian novella by Anthony Burgess. The novel contains an experiment in language: the characters often use an argot called "Nadsat", derived from Russian....

  • Joseph Heller
    Joseph Heller
    Joseph Heller was a US satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II...

    's Catch-22
    Catch-22
    Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953, and the novel was first published in 1961. It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century...

  • William Burroughs' Naked Lunch
    Naked Lunch
    Naked Lunch is a novel by William S. Burroughs originally published in 1959. The book is structured as a series of loosely-connected vignettes. Burroughs stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order...

  • Jon Stewart
    Jon Stewart
    Jon Stewart is an American political satirist, writer, television host, actor, media critic and stand-up comedian...

    's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  • Stephen Colbert
    Stephen Colbert
    Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. He is the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a satirical news show in which Colbert portrays a caricatured version of conservative political pundits.Colbert originally studied to be an...

    's performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner
  • Trey Parker
    Trey Parker
    Trey Parker is an American animator, screenwriter, director, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of the television series South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Matt Stone.Parker started his film career in 1992, making a holiday short...

     & Matt Stone
    Matt Stone
    Matthew Richard "Matt" Stone is an American screenwriter, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with creative partner and best friend, Trey Parker....

    's South Park
    South Park
    South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

  • Douglas Adams
    Douglas Adams
    Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer and dramatist. He is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which started life in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold over 15 million copies in his lifetime, a television...

    ' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Julian Barnes
    Julian Barnes
    Julian Patrick Barnes is a contemporary English writer, and winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize, for his book The Sense of an Ending...

    ' England, England
    England, England
    England, England is a satirical science fiction novel by Julian Barnes which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The novel is set in the Britain of the not-too-distant future, and chronicles the creation of a giant England themed amusement park, called "England, England", which also operates as...



Types of satire can also be classified according to the object it addresses into political satire, satire of everyday life, and philosophical satire. Satire of everyday life criticizes mode of life of common people; political satire aims at behavior, manners of politicians, and vices of political systems; philosophical satire has as its object global vices inherent to the mankind. The state of political satire in a given country reflects the state of civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

 and human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

. Under totalitarian regimes
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

 any criticism of a political system including satire is suppressed. A typical example is the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 where the dissidents, such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was aRussian and Soviet novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his often-suppressed writings, he helped to raise global awareness of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly in The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of...

 and Andrei Sakharov
Andrei Sakharov
Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov was a Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist. He earned renown as the designer of the Soviet Union's Third Idea, a codename for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons. Sakharov was an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the...

 were under strong pressure from the government. While satire of everyday life in the USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 was allowed, the most prominent satirist being Arkady Raikin
Arkady Raikin
Arkady Isaakovich Raikin was a Soviet stand-up comedian. He led the school of Soviet and Russian humorists for about half a century.Raikin was born into a Jewish family in Riga , then part of the Russian Empire. He graduated from the Leningrad Theatrical Technicum in 1935 and worked in both state...

, political satire existed in the form anecdotes
Anecdote
An anecdote is a short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person. It may be as brief as the setting and provocation of a bon mot. An anecdote is always presented as based on a real incident involving actual persons, whether famous or not, usually in an identifiable place...

 that made fun of Soviet political leaders, especially Brezhnev famous for his narrow-mindness and love for awards and decorations.

Ancient Egypt


One of the earliest examples of what we might call satire, The Satire of the Trades
The Satire of the Trades
The Satire of the Trades, also called The Instruction of Dua-Kheti, is a work of didactic ancient Egyptian literature. It takes the form of an Instruction, composed by a scribe from Sile named Dua-Kheti for his son Pepi. The author is thought by some to have composed the Instructions of Amenemhat...

, is in Egyptian writing from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. The text's apparent readers are students, tired of studying. It argues that their lot as scribes is useful, and their lot far superior to that of the ordinary man. Scholars such as Helck think that the context was meant to be serious.

The Papyrus Anastasi I (late 2nd millennium BC) contains a satirical letter which first praises the virtues of its recipient, but then mocks the reader's meagre knowledge and achievements.

Greco-Roman world


The Greeks had no word for what later would be called "satire", although the terms cynicism
Cynicism
Cynicism , in its original form, refers to the beliefs of an ancient school of Greek philosophers known as the Cynics . Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and...

 and parody were used. Modern critics call the Greek playwright Aristophanes
Aristophanes
Aristophanes , son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete...

 one of the best known early satirists: his plays are known for their critical political and societal commentary, particularly for the political satire
Political satire
Political satire is a significant part of satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics; it has also been used with subversive intent where political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing political arguments where such arguments are expressly...

 by which he criticized the powerful Cleon
Cleon
Cleon was an Athenian statesman and a Strategos during the Peloponnesian War. He was the first prominent representative of the commercial class in Athenian politics, although he was an aristocrat himself...

 (as in The Knights
The Knights
The Knights was the fourth play written by Aristophanes, the master of an ancient form of drama known as Old Comedy. The play is a satire on the social and political life of classical Athens during the Peloponnesian War and in this respect it is typical of all the dramatist's early plays...

). He is also notable for the persecution he underwent.
Aristophanes's bawdy style was adopted by Greek dramatist-comedian Menander
Menander
Menander , Greek dramatist, the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy, was the son of well-to-do parents; his father Diopeithes is identified by some with the Athenian general and governor of the Thracian Chersonese known from the speech of Demosthenes De Chersoneso...

. His early play Drunkenness contains an attack on the politician Callimedon.

The oldest form of satire still in use is the Menippean satire
Menippean satire
The genre of Menippean satire is a form of satire, usually in prose, which has a length and structure similar to a novel and is characterized by attacking mental attitudes instead of specific individuals...

 by Menippus of Gadara
Menippus
Menippus of Gadara, was a Cynic and satirist. His works, which are all lost, were an important influence on Varro and Lucian. The Menippean satire genre is named after him.-Life:...

. His own writings are lost. Examples from his admirers and imitators mix seriousness and mockery in dialogues and present parodies before a background of diatribe
Diatribe
Diatribe is the name of a weekly column by Greek-Australian journalist, poet and lawyer Dean Kalimniou appearing in the Melbourne Greek language newspaper Neos Kosmos since 2001...

. The reader is meant to question approved truths in order to form a didactic set of knowledge.

The first Roman to discuss satire critically was Quintilian
Quintilian
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing...

, who invented the term to describe the writings of Lucilius
Lucilius
Lucilius is the nomen of the gens Lucilia of ancient Rome.*Gaius Lucilius, satirist 2nd century BC. Lucilius was credited by Horace and others with originating the genre of satire.*Lucilius Junior, friend and correspondent of the younger Seneca....

. The two most prominent and influential ancient Roman satirists are Horace
Horace
Quintus Horatius Flaccus , known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus.-Life:...

 and Juvenal, who wrote during the early days of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. Other important satirists in ancient Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 are Lucilius
Lucilius
Lucilius is the nomen of the gens Lucilia of ancient Rome.*Gaius Lucilius, satirist 2nd century BC. Lucilius was credited by Horace and others with originating the genre of satire.*Lucilius Junior, friend and correspondent of the younger Seneca....

 and Persius. Satire in their work is much wider than in the modern sense of the word, including fantastic and highly coloured humorous writing with little or no real mocking intent. When Horace criticized Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

, he used veil
Veil
A veil is an article of clothing, worn almost exclusively by women, that is intended to cover some part of the head or face.One view is that as a religious item, it is intended to show honor to an object or space...

ed ironic terms. In contrast, Pliny
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 reports that the 6th century BC poet Hipponax
Hipponax
Hipponax of Ephesus and later Clazomenae was an Ancient Greek iambic poet who composed verses depicting the vulgar side of life in Ionian society in the sixth century BC...

 wrote satirae that were so cruel that the offended hanged themselves.

Medieval Islamic world

Main articles: Arabic satire and Persian satire
Persian satire
-History of Persian satire:-Early Persian satire:The Arabic poetic genre of hija was introduced after the Islamic conquest of Persia...



Medieval Arabic poetry
Arabic poetry
Arabic poetry is the earliest form of Arabic literature. Present knowledge of poetry in Arabic dates from the 6th century, but oral poetry is believed to predate that. Arabic poetry is categorized into two main types, rhymed, or measured, and prose, with the former greatly preceding the latter...

 included the satiric genre hija. Satire was introduced into Arabic prose literature
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

 by the Afro-Arab
Afro-Arab
Afro-Arab refers to people of mixed Black African and genealogical Arab ancestral heritage and/or linguistically and culturally Arabized Black Africans...

 author Al-Jahiz
Al-Jahiz
Al-Jāḥiẓ was an Arabic prose writer and author of works of literature, Mu'tazili theology, and politico-religious polemics.In biology, Al-Jahiz introduced the concept of food chains and also proposed a scheme of animal evolution that entailed...

 in the 9th century. While dealing with serious topics in what are now known as anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, sociology and psychology, he introduced a satirical approach, "based on the premise that, however serious the subject under review, it could be made more interesting and thus achieve greater effect, if only one leavened the lump of solemnity by the insertion of a few amusing anecdotes or by the throwing out of some witty or paradoxical observations. He was well aware that, in treating of new themes in his prose works, he would have to employ a vocabulary of a nature more familiar in hija, satirical poetry." For example, in one of his zoological
Zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

 works, he satirized the preference for longer human penis size
Human penis size
Human penis size is the measured length and width of the human penis. The most accurate measurement of the human penis comes from several measurements at different times, as there is natural variability in size due to arousal level, time of day, room temperature, frequency of sexual activity, and...

, writing: "If the length of the penis were a sign of honor, then the mule
Mule
A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. Horses and donkeys are different species, with different numbers of chromosomes. Of the two F1 hybrids between these two species, a mule is easier to obtain than a hinny...

 would belong to the (honorable tribe of) Quraysh". Another satirical story based on this preference was an Arabian Nights tale called "Ali with the Large Member".

In the 10th century, the writer Tha'alibi
Tha'alibi
Tha'ālibī [Abu Manşūr 'Abd ul-Malik ibn Mahommed ibn Isma'īl] , Muslim philologist, was born in Nishapur, Iran, and is said to have been at one time a furrier. Although he wrote prose and verse of his own, he was most famous for his anthologies and collections of epigrams...

 recorded satirical poetry written by the Arabic poets As-Salami and Abu Dulaf, with As-Salami praising Abu Dulaf's wide breadth of knowledge
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

 and then mocking his ability in all these subjects, and with Abu Dulaf responding back and satirizing As-Salami in return. An example of Arabic political satire
Political satire
Political satire is a significant part of satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics; it has also been used with subversive intent where political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing political arguments where such arguments are expressly...

 included another 10th century poet Jarir satirizing Farazdaq as "a transgressor of the Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

" and later Arabic poets in turn using the term "Farazdaq-like" as a form of political satire.

The terms "comedy
Comedy
Comedy , as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended to amuse by creating laughter, especially in television, film, and stand-up comedy. This must be carefully distinguished from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are found in...

" and "satire" became synonymous after Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's Poetics was translated into Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 in the medieval Islamic world
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, where it was elaborated upon by Islamic philosophers
Early Islamic philosophy
Early Islamic philosophy or classical Islamic philosophy is a period of intense philosophical development beginning in the 2nd century AH of the Islamic calendar and lasting until the 6th century AH...

 and writers, such as Abu Bischr, his pupil Al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

, Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

, and Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

. Due to cultural differences, they disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation and instead identified it with Arabic poetic
Arabic poetry
Arabic poetry is the earliest form of Arabic literature. Present knowledge of poetry in Arabic dates from the 6th century, but oral poetry is believed to predate that. Arabic poetry is categorized into two main types, rhymed, or measured, and prose, with the former greatly preceding the latter...

 themes and forms, such as hija (satirical poetry). They viewed comedy as simply the "art of reprehension", and made no reference to light and cheerful events, or troubled beginnings and happy endings, associated with classical Greek comedy. After the Latin translations of the 12th century, the term "comedy" thus gained a new semantic meaning in Medieval literature
Medieval literature
Medieval literature is a broad subject, encompassing essentially all written works available in Europe and beyond during the Middle Ages . The literature of this time was composed of religious writings as well as secular works...

.

Ubayd Zakani introduced satire in Persian literature
Persian literature
Persian literature spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language...

 during the 14th century. His work is noted for its satire and obscene verses, often political or bawdy, and often cited in debates involving homosexual practices. He wrote the Resaleh-ye Delgosha, as well as Akhlaq al-Ashraf ("Ethics of the Aristocracy") and the famous humorous fable Masnavi Mush-O-Gorbeh (Mouse and Cat), which was a political satire. His non-satirical serious classical verses have also been regarded as very well written, in league with the other great works of Persian literature
Persian literature
Persian literature spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language...

. Between 1905 and 1911, Bibi Khatoon Astarabadi
Bibi Khatoon Astarabadi
Bibi Khānoom Astarābādi was a notable Iranian writer, satirist, and one of the pioneering figures in the women's movement of Iran....

 and other Iranian writers wrote notable satires.

Medieval Europe


In the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

, examples of satire were the songs by Goliard
Goliard
The Goliards were a group of clergy who wrote bibulous, satirical Latin poetry in the 12th and 13th centuries. They were mainly clerical students at the universities of France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and England who protested the growing contradictions within the Church, such as the failure of the...

s or vagants now best known as an anthology called Carmina Burana
Carmina Burana
Carmina Burana , Latin for "Songs from Beuern" , is the name given to a manuscript of 254 poems and dramatic texts mostly from the 11th or 12th century, although some are from the 13th century. The pieces were written principally in Medieval Latin; a few in Middle High German, and some with traces...

 and made famous as texts of a composition by the 20th century composer Carl Orff
Carl Orff
Carl Orff was a 20th-century German composer, best known for his cantata Carmina Burana . In addition to his career as a composer, Orff developed an influential method of music education for children.-Early life:...

. Satirical poetry is believed to have been popular, although little has survived. With the advent of the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

 and the birth of modern vernacular literature
Vernacular literature
Vernacular literature is literature written in the vernacular—the speech of the "common people".In the European tradition, this effectively means literature not written in Latin...

 in the 12th century, it began to be used again, most notably by Chaucer. The disrespectful manner was considered "Unchristian" and ignored but for the moral satire, which mocked misbehaviour in Christian terms. Examples are Livre des Manières by Étienne de Fougères (~1170), and some of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The epos
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

 was mocked, and even the feudal society, but there was hardly a general interest in the genre.

Two major satirists of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 were Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio
Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular...

 and François Rabelais
François Rabelais
François Rabelais was a major French Renaissance writer, doctor, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. He has historically been regarded as a writer of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes and songs...

. Other examples of Renaissance satire include Till Eulenspiegel
Till Eulenspiegel
Till Eulenspiegel was an impudent trickster figure originating in Middle Low German folklore. His tales were disseminated in popular printed editions narrating a string of lightly connected episodes that outlined his picaresque career, primarily in Germany, the Low Countries and France...

, Reynard the Fox, Sebastian Brant
Sebastian Brant
Sebastian Brant was an Alsatian humanist and satirist. He is best known for his satire Das Narrenschiff .-Biography:...

's Narrenschiff
Ship of Fools
The ship of fools is an allegory that has long been a fixture in Western literature and art. The allegory depicts a vessel populated by human inhabitants who are deranged, frivolous, or oblivious, passengers aboard a ship without a pilot, and seemingly ignorant of their own direction...

 (1494), Erasmus' Moriae Encomium (1509) and Thomas More
Thomas More
Sir Thomas More , also known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and, for three years toward the end of his life, Lord Chancellor...

's Utopia
Utopia
Utopia is an ideal community or society possessing a perfect socio-politico-legal system. The word was imported from Greek by Sir Thomas More for his 1516 book Utopia, describing a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt...

 (1516).

Early modern western satire


Direct social commentary via satire returned with a vengeance in the 16th century, when farcical texts such as the works of François Rabelais
François Rabelais
François Rabelais was a major French Renaissance writer, doctor, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. He has historically been regarded as a writer of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes and songs...

 tackled more serious issues (and incurred the wrath of the crown as a result).

The Elizabethan (i.e. 16th century English) writers thought of satire as related to the notoriously rude, coarse and sharp satyr play. Elizabethan "satire" (typically in pamphlet form) therefore contains more straightforward abuse than subtle irony. The French Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

 Isaac Casaubon
Isaac Casaubon
Isaac Casaubon was a classical scholar and philologist, first in France and then later in England, regarded by many of his time as the most learned in Europe.-Early life:...

 pointed out in 1605 that satire in the Roman fashion was something altogether more civilised. Casaubon discovered and published Quintilian's writing and presented the original meaning of the term (satira, not satyr), and the sense of wittiness (reflecting the "dishfull of fruits") became more important again. 17th century English satire once again aimed at the "amendment of vices" (Dryden
Dryden
-People:* Dave Dryden, retired Canadian ice hockey goaltender* David Owen Dryden, renowned San Diego builder-architect*Erasmus Dryden * Helen Dryden, American artist and designer* Hugh L. Dryden, NASA Deputy Director...

).

In the 1590s a new wave of verse satire broke with the publication of Hall's Virgidemiarum, six books of verse satires targeting everything from literary fads to corrupt noblemen. Although Donne
John Donne
John Donne 31 March 1631), English poet, satirist, lawyer, and priest, is now considered the preeminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His works are notable for their strong and sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs,...

 had already circulated satires in manuscript, Hall's was the first real attempt in English at verse satire on the Juvenalian model. The success of his work combined with a national mood of disillusion in the last years of Elizabeth's reign triggered an avalanche of satire - much of it less conscious of classical models than Hall's - until the fashion was brought to an abrupt stop by censorship.

The Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

, an intellectual movement in the 17th and 18th century advocating rationality, produced a great revival of satire in Britain. This was fuelled by the rise of partisan politics, with the formalisation of the Tory
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 and Whig
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 parties - and also, in 1714, by the formation of the Scriblerus Club
Scriblerus Club
The Scriblerus Club was an informal group of friends that included Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, John Arbuthnot, Henry St. John and Thomas Parnell. The group was founded in 1712 and lasted until the death of the founders, starting in 1732 and ending in 1745, with Pope and Swift being...

, which included Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson...

, Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

, John Gay
John Gay
John Gay was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar's Opera , set to music by Johann Christoph Pepusch...

, John Arbuthnot
John Arbuthnot
John Arbuthnot, often known simply as Dr. Arbuthnot, , was a physician, satirist and polymath in London...

, Robert Harley
Robert Harley
Robert Harley may refer to:*Robert Harley , English statesman, Member of Parliament for Radnor and Herefordshire*Robert Harley , British Member of Parliament for Radnor...

, Thomas Parnell
Thomas Parnell
Thomas Parnell was a poet and clergyman, born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He was a friend of both Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. He participated in the Scriblerus Club, contributing to The Spectator, and he also aided Pope in his translation of The Iliad...

, and Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke was an English politician, government official and political philosopher. He was a leader of the Tories, and supported the Church of England politically despite his atheism. In 1715 he supported the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 which sought to overthrow the...

. This club included several of the notable satirists of early 18th century Britain. They focused their attention on Martinus Scriblerus, "an invented learned fool...whose work they attributed all that was tedious, narrow-minded, and pedantic in contemporary scholarship". In their hands astute and biting satire of institutions and individuals became a popular weapon.

Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

 was one of the greatest of Anglo-Irish satirists, and one of the first to practise modern journalistic satire. For instance, In his A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...

 Swift suggests that Irish peasants be encouraged to sell their own children as food for the rich, as a solution to the "problem" of poverty. His purpose is of course to attack indifference to the plight of the desperately poor. In his book Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

 he writes about the flaws in human society in general and English society in particular. John Dryden
John Dryden
John Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.Walter Scott called him "Glorious John." He was made Poet...

 wrote an influential essay entitled "A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire" that helped fix the definition of satire in the literary world. His satirical Mac Flecknoe was written in response to a rivalry with Thomas Shadwell
Thomas Shadwell
Thomas Shadwell was an English poet and playwright who was appointed poet laureate in 1689.-Life:Shadwell was born at Stanton Hall, Norfolk, and educated at Bury St Edmunds School, and at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, which he entered in 1656. He left the university without a degree, and...

 and eventually inspired Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope
Alexander Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. He is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson...

 to write his satirical The Rape of the Lock
The Rape of the Lock
The Rape of the Lock is a mock-heroic narrative poem written by Alexander Pope, first published anonymously in Lintot's Miscellany in May 1712 in two cantos , but then revised, expanded and reissued under Pope's name on March 2, 1714, in a much-expanded 5-canto version...

. Other satirical works by Pope include the Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot
Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot
The Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot is a satire in poetic form written by Alexander Pope and addressed to his friend John Arbuthnot, a physician. It was first published in 1735 and composed in 1734, when Pope learned that Arbuthnot was dying. Pope described it as a memorial of their friendship...

.

Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe , born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain and along with others such as Richardson,...

 pursued a more journalistic type of satire, being famous for his The True-Born Englishman
The True-Born Englishman
"The True-Born Englishman" is a satirical poem published in 1701 by Daniel Defoe defending King William, who was Dutch, against xenophobic attacks, and ridiculing the notion of English racial purity. It became a popular success.. According to a preface Defoe supplied to an edition of 1703, the...

 which mocks xenophobic
Xenophobia
Xenophobia is defined as "an unreasonable fear of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange". It comes from the Greek words ξένος , meaning "stranger," "foreigner" and φόβος , meaning "fear."...

 patriotism, and The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters - advocating religious toleration
Religious toleration
Toleration is "the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves. One can meaningfully speak of tolerating, ie of allowing or permitting, only if one is in a position to disallow”. It has also been defined as "to bear or endure" or "to nourish, sustain or preserve"...

 by means of an ironical exaggeration of the highly intolerant attitudes of his time.

Anglo-American satire


Ebenezer Cooke
Ebenezer Cooke
Ebenezer Cooke , a London-born poet, wrote what some scholars consider the first American satire: “The Sotweed Factor, or A Voyage to Maryland, A Satyr”...

, author of "The Sot-Weed Factor," was among the first American colonialists to write literary satire. Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 and others followed, using satire to shape an emerging nation's culture through its sense of the ridiculous.

Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

 was a great American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 satirist: his novel Huckleberry Finn
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in England in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written in the vernacular, characterized by...

 is set in the antebellum South, where the moral values Twain wishes to promote are completely turned on their heads. His hero, Huck, is a rather simple but goodhearted lad who is ashamed of the "sinful temptation" that leads him to help a runaway slave
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. In fact his conscience, warped by the distorted moral world he has grown up in, often bothers him most when he is at his best. Ironically, he is prepared to do good, believing it to be wrong.

Twain's younger contemporary Ambrose Bierce
Ambrose Bierce
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist...

 gained notoriety as a cynic, pessimist and black humorist with his dark, bitterly ironic stories, many set during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, which satirized the limitations of human perception and reason. Bierce's most famous work of satire is probably The Devil's Dictionary
The Devil's Dictionary
The Devil's Dictionary is a satirical "reference" book written by Ambrose Bierce. The book offers reinterpretations of terms in the English language, lampooning cant and political doublespeak, as well as other aspects of human foolishness and frailty. It was originally published in 1906 as The...

, in which the definitions mock cant, hypocrisy
Hypocrisy
Hypocrisy is the state of pretending to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have. Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie....

 and received wisdom
Appeal to tradition
Appeal to tradition is a common fallacy in which a thesis is deemed correct on the basis that it correlates with some past or present tradition...

.

Satire in Victorian England


Novelists such as Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 often used passages of satiric writing in their treatment of social issues. Several satiric papers competed for the public's attention in the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 and Edwardian period, such as Punch
Punch (magazine)
Punch, or the London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 50s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration...

 and Fun
Fun (magazine)
Fun was a Victorian weekly magazine, first published on 21 September 1861. The magazine was founded by the actor and playwright H. J. Byron in competition with Punch magazine.-Description:...

.

Perhaps the most enduring examples of Victorian satire, however, are to be found in the Savoy Opera
Savoy opera
The Savoy Operas denote a style of comic opera that developed in Victorian England in the late 19th century, with W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan as the original and most successful practitioners. The name is derived from the Savoy Theatre, which impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte built to house...

s of W. S. Gilbert
W. S. Gilbert
Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist, librettist, poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan, of which the most famous include H.M.S...

 and Sir Arthur Sullivan
Arthur Sullivan
Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO was an English composer of Irish and Italian ancestry. He is best known for his series of 14 operatic collaborations with the dramatist W. S. Gilbert, including such enduring works as H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado...

. In fact, in The Yeomen of the Guard
The Yeomen of the Guard
The Yeomen of the Guard; or, The Merryman and His Maid, is a Savoy Opera, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It premiered at the Savoy Theatre on 3 October 1888, and ran for 423 performances...

, a jester is given lines that paint a very neat picture of the method and purpose of the satirist, and might almost be taken as a statement of Gilbert's own intent:
"I can set a braggart quailing with a quip,
The upstart I can wither with a whim;
He may wear a merry laugh upon his lip,
But his laughter has an echo that is grim!"

20th century satire



In the 20th century, satire was used by authors such as Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

 and George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

 to make serious and even frightening commentaries on the dangers of the sweeping social changes taking place throughout Europe and United States. The film The Great Dictator
The Great Dictator
The Great Dictator is a comedy film by Charlie Chaplin released in October 1940. Like most Chaplin films, he wrote, produced, and directed, in addition to starring as the lead. Having been the only Hollywood film maker to continue to make silent films well into the period of sound films, this was...

 (1940) by Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I...

 is a satire on Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

. Many social critics of the time, such as Karl Kraus
Karl Kraus
Karl Kraus was an Austrian writer and journalist, known as a satirist, essayist, aphorist, playwright and poet. He is regarded as one of the foremost German-language satirists of the 20th century, especially for his witty criticism of the press, German culture, and German and Austrian...

, Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th century urban foibles....

 and H. L. Mencken
H. L. Mencken
Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the...

, used satire as their main weapon, and Mencken in particular is noted for having said that "one horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogism
Syllogism
A syllogism is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition is inferred from two or more others of a certain form...

s" in the persuasion of the public to accept a criticism. Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller was a US satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II...

's most famous work, Catch-22
Catch-22
Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953, and the novel was first published in 1961. It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century...

, satirizes bureaucracy and the military, and is frequently cited as one of the greatest literary works of the twentieth century. Novelist Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis
Harry Sinclair Lewis was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of...

 was known for his satirical stories such as Babbitt
Babbitt (novel)
Babbitt, first published in 1922, is a novel by Sinclair Lewis. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure on individuals toward conformity....

, Main Street
Main Street (novel)
- Plot summary :Carol Milford is a liberal, free-spirited young woman, reared in the metropolis of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She marries Will Kennicott, a doctor, who is a small-town boy at heart....

, and It Can't Happen Here
It Can't Happen Here
It Can't Happen Here is a semi-satirical American political novel by Sinclair Lewis published in 1935 by Doubleday, Doran. It describes the rise of a populist politician who calls his movement "patriotic" and creates his own militia and takes unconstitutional power after winning election —...

. His books often explored and satirized contemporary American values.

The film Dr. Strangelove from 1964 was a popular satire on the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. A more humorous brand of satire enjoyed a renaissance in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in the early 1960s with the Satire Boom, led by such luminaries as Peter Cook
Peter Cook
Peter Edward Cook was an English satirist, writer and comedian. An extremely influential figure in modern British comedy, he is regarded as the leading light of the British satire boom of the 1960s. He has been described by Stephen Fry as "the funniest man who ever drew breath," although Cook's...

, Alan Bennett
Alan Bennett
Alan Bennett is a British playwright, screenwriter, actor and author. Born in Leeds, he attended Oxford University where he studied history and performed with The Oxford Revue. He stayed to teach and research mediaeval history at the university for several years...

, Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller
Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller CBE is a British theatre and opera director, author, physician, television presenter, humorist and sculptor. Trained as a physician in the late 1950s, he first came to prominence in the 1960s with his role in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe with fellow writers and...

, and Dudley Moore
Dudley Moore
Dudley Stuart John Moore, CBE was an English actor, comedian, composer and musician.Moore first came to prominence as one of the four writer-performers in the ground-breaking comedy revue Beyond the Fringe in the early 1960s, and then became famous as half of the highly popular television...

, whose stage show Beyond the Fringe
Beyond the Fringe
Beyond the Fringe was a British comedy stage revue written and performed by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller. It played in London's West End and then on New York's Broadway in the early 1960s, and is widely regarded as seminal to the rise of satire in 1960s Britain.-The...

 was a hit not only in Britain, but also in the United States. Other significant influences in 1960s British satire include David Frost
David Frost (broadcaster)
Sir David Paradine Frost, OBE is a British journalist, comedian, writer, media personality and daytime TV game show host best known for his two decades as host of Through the Keyhole and serious interviews with various political figures, the most notable being Richard Nixon...

, Eleanor Bron
Eleanor Bron
Eleanor Bron is an English stage, film and television actress and author.-Early life and family:Bron was born in 1938 in Stanmore, Middlesex, to a Jewish family of Eastern European origin...

 and the television program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

 That Was The Week That Was
That Was The Week That Was
That Was The Week That Was, also known as TW3, is a satirical television comedy programme that was shown on BBC Television in 1962 and 1963. It was devised, produced and directed by Ned Sherrin and presented by David Frost...

. Paul Krassner
Paul Krassner
Paul Krassner is an author, journalist, stand-up comedian, and the founder, editor and a frequent contributor to the freethought magazine The Realist, first published in 1958...

's magazine The Realist
The Realist
The Realist was a pioneering magazine of "social-political-religious criticism and satire," intended as a hybrid of a grown-ups version of Mad and Lyle Stuart's anti-censorship monthly The Independent. Edited and published by Paul Krassner, and often regarded as a milestone in the American...

 was immensely popular during the 1960s and early 1970s among people in the counterculture
Counterculture
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also be described as a group whose behavior...

 and had articles and cartoons that were savage, biting satires of politicians such as Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

, the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and the War on Drugs
War on Drugs
The War on Drugs is a campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government, with the assistance of participating countries, intended to both define and reduce the illegal drug trade...

.

Contemporary satire


Contemporary popular usage of the term "satire" is often very imprecise. While satire often uses caricature
Caricature
A caricature is a portrait that exaggerates or distorts the essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness. In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others.Caricatures can be...

 and parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

, by no means are all uses of these or other humorous devices, satiric. Refer to the careful definition of satire that heads this article.

Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert
Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. He is the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a satirical news show in which Colbert portrays a caricatured version of conservative political pundits.Colbert originally studied to be an...

’s television program, The Colbert Report, is instructive in the methods of contemporary American satire. Colbert's character
Stephen Colbert (character)
The Reverend / Sir / Dr. / Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A., brain-child of Google, is the persona of political satirist Stephen Colbert, as portrayed on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report. Described as a "well-intentioned, poorly informed high-status idiot", the character is a self-obsessed right-wing...

 is an opinionated and self-righteous commentator who, in his TV interviews, interrupts people, points and wags his finger at them, and "unwittingly" uses a number of logical fallacies. In doing so, he demonstrates the principle of modern American political satire: the ridicule of the actions of politicians and other public figures by taking all their statements and purported beliefs to their furthest (supposedly) logical conclusion, thus revealing their perceived hypocrisy. Other political satire includes various political causes in the past, including the relatively successful Polish Beer-Lovers' Party
Polish Beer-Lovers' Party
The Polish Beer-Lovers' Party was a satirical Polish political party that was founded in 1990 by satirist Janusz Rewiński. Originally, the party's goal was to promote cultural beer-drinking in English-style pubs instead of vodka and thus fight alcoholism.The humorous name and disillusionment with...

 and the joke political candidates Molly the Dog and Brian Miner
Brian Miner
Brian Daniel Miner is an American comedian and satirist. He is known for his co-creation of the live sketch comedy series The Crippling Thoughts of Victor Bonesteel along with fellow writer and comedian Bryan Finnigan ....

.

The television program South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

 relies almost exclusively on satire to address issues in American culture, with episodes addressing anti-Semitism
The Passion of the Jew
"The Passion of the Jew" is episode 114 of the Comedy Central series South Park and was originally broadcast on March 31, 2004. The episode is a satire of the movie The Passion of the Christ, which was released in 2004.- Plot :...

, militant atheism
Go God Go
"Go God Go" is the 12th episode of the 10th season of the American animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on November 1, 2006, and is part one of a two-part story. Part two is titled "Go God Go XII", which aired a week later...

, homophobia
Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride
"Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride" is the fourth episode of the first season of the animated television series South Park. It originally aired on September 3, 1997 on Comedy Central in the United States. The episode was written by series co-founders Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and directed by Parker...

, environmentalism, corporate culture, political correctness
The Death Camp of Tolerance
"The Death Camp of Tolerance" is episode 93 of the Comedy Central series South Park. It was originally broadcast on November 20, 2002.-External links:* Full episode at South Park Studios* Episode guide at South Park Studios...

 and Catholic sex scandals
Red Hot Catholic Love
"Red Hot Catholic Love" is the 87th episode of the Comedy Central series South Park. It originally aired on July 3, 2002. It was selected #2 of the "10 South Parks that Changed the World", and was also part of "South Park's Dirty Dozen." In the DVD commentary for this episode, Stone and Parker...

, among many other issues.

In the United Kingdom, a popular modern satirist is Sir Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett
Sir Terence David John "Terry" Pratchett, OBE is an English novelist, known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre. He is best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels...

, author of the internationally best-selling Discworld
Discworld
Discworld is a comic fantasy book series by English author Sir Terry Pratchett, set on the Discworld, a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A'Tuin. The books frequently parody, or at least take inspiration from, J. R. R....

 book series. One of the most well-known and controversial British satirists is Chris Morris
Chris Morris (satirist)
Christopher Morris is an English satirist, writer, director and actor. A former radio DJ, he is best known for anchoring the spoof news and current affairs television programmes The Day Today and Brass Eye, as well as his frequent engagement with controversial subject matter.In 2010 Morris...

, co-writer and director of Four Lions
Four Lions
Four Lions is a 2010 British satirical comedy film. It is the debut feature from director Chris Morris, written by Morris, Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong. The film is a jihad satire following a group of homegrown Islamist terrorist jihadis from Sheffield, England.-Plot:A group of young Muslim men...

.

Satire is used on many UK television programmes, particularly popular panel shows and quiz shows such as Mock the Week
Mock the Week
Mock the Week is a British topical celebrity panel game hosted by Dara Ó Briain that launched in 2005. The game is influenced by improvised topical stand-up comedy, with several rounds requiring players to deliver answers on unexpected subjects on the spur of the moment.It is made by independent...

, Have I Got News for You
Have I Got News for You
Have I Got News for You is a British television panel show produced by Hat Trick Productions for the BBC. It is based loosely on the BBC Radio 4 show The News Quiz, and has been broadcast since 1990, currently the BBC's longest-ever running television panel show...

, and The Now Show
The Now Show
The Now Show is a British radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4, which satirises the week's news. The show is a mixture of stand-up, sketches and songs presented by Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis...

. Similarly it is found on radio quiz shows such as The News Quiz
The News Quiz
The News Quiz is a topical panel game broadcast on British radio BBC Radio 4.-History:It was first broadcast in 1977 with Barry Norman as chairman. Subsequently it was chaired by Simon Hoggart, Barry Took , and then again by Simon Hoggart until March 2006. Hoggart was replaced by Sandi Toksvig in...

.

In Canada, satire has become an important part of the comedy scene. Stephen Leacock
Stephen Leacock
Stephen Butler Leacock, FRSC was an English-born Canadian teacher, political scientist, writer, and humorist...

 was one of the best known early Canadian satirists, and in the early 20th century, he achieved fame by targeting the attitudes of small town life. In more recent years, Canada has had several prominent satirical television series. Some, including CODCO
CODCO
CODCO was a Canadian comedy troupe from Newfoundland, best known for a sketch comedy series which aired on CBC Television from 1987 to 1992....

, The Royal Canadian Air Farce, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
This Hour Has 22 Minutes is a weekly Canadian television comedy that airs on CBC Television. Launched in 1993 during Canada's 35th general election, the show focuses on Canadian politics, combining news parody, sketch comedy and satirical editorials...

 deal directly with current news stories and political figures, while others, like History Bites
History Bites
History Bites was a television series on the History Television network that ran from 1998-2003. Created by Rick Green, History Bites explored what would be on television if the medium had been around for the last 5,000 years of human history. Typically, a significant historical event was chosen...

 present contemporary social satire in the context of events and figures in history. The Canadian website The Daily Week
The Daily Week
The Daily Week is a Canadian satirical news website, written by Canadian television comedy writers Duncan McKenzie and Gary Pearson. It is updated daily, and all articles are available free in its archives....

 combines social and political satire with absurdity. Canadian songwriter Nancy White
Nancy White
Nancy White is a Canadian singer-songwriter, whose topical songs were a regular feature on CBC Radio from 1976 to 1994 on the public affairs show Sunday Morning...

 uses music as the vehicle for her satire, and her comic folk songs are regularly played on CBC Radio
CBC Radio One
CBC Radio One is the English language news and information radio network of the publicly-owned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It is commercial free and offers both local and national programming...

.

Cartoonists often use satire as well as straight humour. Al Capp
Al Capp
Alfred Gerald Caplin , better known as Al Capp, was an American cartoonist and humorist best known for the satirical comic strip Li'l Abner. He also wrote the comic strips Abbie an' Slats and Long Sam...

's satirical comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

 Li'l Abner
Li'l Abner
Li'l Abner is a satirical American comic strip that appeared in many newspapers in the United States, Canada and Europe, featuring a fictional clan of hillbillies in the impoverished town of Dogpatch, Kentucky. Written and drawn by Al Capp , the strip ran for 43 years, from August 13, 1934 through...

 was censored in September 1947. The controversy, as reported in Time, centred around Capp's portrayal of the US Senate. Said Edward Leech of Scripps-Howard, "We don't think it is good editing or sound citizenship to picture the Senate as an assemblage of freaks and crooks... boobs and undesirables." Walt Kelly
Walt Kelly
Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. , or Walt Kelly, was an American animator and cartoonist, best known for the comic strip, Pogo. He began his animation career in 1936 at Walt Disney Studios, contributing to Pinocchio and Fantasia. Kelly resigned in 1941 at the age of 28 to work at Post-Hall Syndicate,...

's Pogo was likewise censored in 1952 over his overt satire of Senator Joe McCarthy
Joseph McCarthy
Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957...

, caricatured in his comic strip as "Simple J. Malarky". Garry Trudeau
Garry Trudeau
Garretson Beekman "Garry" Trudeau is an American cartoonist, best known for the Doonesbury comic strip.-Background and education:...

, whose comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

 Doonesbury
Doonesbury
Doonesbury is a comic strip by American cartoonist Garry Trudeau, that chronicles the adventures and lives of an array of characters of various ages, professions, and backgrounds, from the President of the United States to the title character, Michael Doonesbury, who has progressed from a college...

 has charted and recorded many American follies for the last generation, deals with story lines such as the Vietnam War (and now, the Iraq War), dumbed-down education, and over-eating at "McFriendly's". Trudeau exemplifies humour mixed with criticism. Recently, one of his gay characters lamented that because he was not legally married to his partner, he was deprived of the "exquisite agony" of experiencing a nasty and painful divorce like heterosexuals. This, of course, satirized the claim that gay unions would denigrate the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. Doonesbury also presents an example of how satire can cause social change. The comic strip satirized a Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 county that had a law requiring minorities to have a passcard in the area; the law was soon repealed with an act nicknamed the Doonesbury Act.

Like some literary predecessors, many recent television satires contain strong elements of parody and caricature
Caricature
A caricature is a portrait that exaggerates or distorts the essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness. In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others.Caricatures can be...

; for instance, the popular animated series The Simpsons and South Park both parody modern family and social life by taking their assumptions to the extreme; both have led to the creation of similar series. As well as the purely humorous effect of this sort of thing, they often strongly criticise various phenomena in politics, economic life, religion and many other aspects of society, and thus qualify as satirical. Due to their animated nature, these shows can easily use images of public figures and generally have greater freedom to do so than conventional shows using live actors.

Fake News is also a very popular form of contemporary satire, appearing in as wide an array of formats as the news media itself: print (e.g. The Onion
The Onion
The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club...

, Private Eye
Private Eye
Private Eye is a fortnightly British satirical and current affairs magazine, edited by Ian Hislop.Since its first publication in 1961, Private Eye has been a prominent critic and lampooner of public figures and entities that it deemed guilty of any of the sins of incompetence, inefficiency,...

), radio (e.g. On the Hour
On the Hour
On the Hour was a British radio programme that parodied current affairs broadcasting, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 between 1991 and 1992.Written by Chris Morris, Armando Iannucci, Steven Wells, Andrew Glover, Stewart Lee, Richard Herring and David Quantick, it starred Morris as the overzealous and...

), television (e.g. The Day Today
The Day Today
The Day Today is a surreal British parody of television current affairs programmes, broadcast in 1994, and created by the comedians Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris. It is an adaptation of the radio programme On the Hour, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 between 1991 and 1992...

, The Daily Show
The Daily Show
The Daily Show , is an American late night satirical television program airing each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central. The half-hour long show premiered on July 21, 1996, and was hosted by Craig Kilborn until December 1998...

, Brass Eye
Brass Eye
Brass Eye is a UK television series of satirical spoof documentaries. A series of six aired on Channel 4 in 1997, and a further episode in 2001....

) and the web (e.g. Mindry.in, Scunt News, Faking News
Faking News
Faking News is an Indian news satire website that publishes fake news reports containing satire on politics and society of India. The website also publishes occasional serious articles related to television journalism in India...

, The Giant Napkin, Unconfirmed Sources and The Onions website). Other satires are on the list of satirists and satires. Another internet-driven form of satire is to lampoon bad internet performers. An example of this is the Internet meme
Internet meme
The term Internet meme is used to describe a concept that spreads via the Internet. The term is a reference to the concept of memes, although the latter concept refers to a much broader category of cultural information.-Description:...

 character Miranda Sings
Miranda Sings
Miranda Sings is an internet meme character created in 2008 by American comedian and singer Colleen Ballinger. Ballinger displays videos of the comically talentless, egotistical and quirky character on her YouTube channel under the username mirandasings08.Ballinger created the character as a...

.

In an interview with Wikinews
Wikinews
Wikinews is a free-content news source wiki and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. The site works through collaborative journalism. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has distinguished Wikinews from Wikipedia by saying "on Wikinews, each story is to be written as a news story as opposed to an...

, Sean Mills, President of The Onion
The Onion
The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club...

, said angry letters about their news parody always carried the same message. "It’s whatever affects that person," said Mills. "So it’s like, 'I love it when you make a joke about murder or rape, but if you talk about cancer, well my brother has cancer and that’s not funny to me.' Or someone else can say, 'Cancer’s hilarious, but don’t talk about rape because my cousin got raped.' Those are rather extreme examples, but if it affects somebody personally, they tend to be more sensitive about it."

Zhou Libo, a comedian from Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, is the most popular satirist in China. His humour has interested the middle-class people and had sold out shows ever since his rise to fame. Primarily a theater performer, Zhou said his work is never scripted, allowing him to improvise jokes about recent events. He often mocks political figures he supports.

Perception of satire


Because satire often combines anger and humour it can be profoundly disturbing - because it is essentially ironic or sarcastic, it is often misunderstood.

Common uncomprehending responses to satire include revulsion (accusations of poor taste
Taste (sociology)
Taste as an aesthetic, sociological, economic and anthropological concept refers to a cultural patterns of choice and preference. While taste is often understood as a biological concept, it can also be reasonably studied as a social or cultural phenomenon. Taste is about drawing distinctions...

, or that "it's just not funny" for instance), to the idea that the satirist actually does support the ideas, policies, or people he is attacking. For instance, at the time of its publication, many people misunderstood Swift’s purpose in A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...

, assuming it to be a serious recommendation of economically motivated cannibalism. Again, some critics of Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

 see Huckleberry Finn as racist and offensive, missing the point that its author clearly intended it to be satire (racism being in fact only one of a number of Mark Twain's known concerns attacked in Huckleberry Finn). This same misconception was suffered by the main character of the 1960s British television comedy satire Till Death Us Do Part. The character of Alf Garnett
Alf Garnett
Alf Garnett is a fictional character in the British sitcoms Till Death Us Do Part, Till Death... and In Sickness and in Health, and chat show The Thoughts of Chairman Alf. He was created by Johnny Speight and played by Warren Mitchell....

 (played by Warren Mitchell
Warren Mitchell
Warren Mitchell is an English actor who rose to initial prominence in the role of bigoted cockney Alf Garnett in the BBC television sitcom Till Death Us Do Part , and its sequels Till Death... and In Sickness and in Health , all of which were written by Johnny Speight...

) was created to poke fun at the kind of narrow-minded, racist, little-Englander that Garnett represented. Instead, his character became a sort of anti-hero
Anti-hero
In fiction, an antihero is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is at least in some regards conspicuously contrary to that of the archetypal hero, and is in some instances its antithesis in which the character is generally useless at being a hero or heroine when they're...

 to people who actually agreed with his views. The same thing happened with conservative Americans in regard to the main character in the American TV Show All in the Family, Archie Bunker
Archie Bunker
Archibald "Archie" Bunker is a fictional New Yorker in the 1970s top-rated American television sitcom All in the Family and its spin-off Archie Bunker's Place, played to acclaim by Carroll O'Connor. Bunker is a veteran of World War II, reactionary, bigoted, conservative, blue-collar worker, and...

.

The Australian satirical television comedy show The Chaser's War on Everything
The Chaser's War on Everything
The Chaser's War on Everything is an Australian television satirical comedy series broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation television station ABC1. It has won an AFI Award. The cast perform sketches mocking social and political issues, and often feature comedic publicity stunts...

 has suffered repeated attacks based on various perceived interpretations of the "target" of its attacks. The "Make a Realistic Wish Foundation" sketch (June 2009), which attacked in classical satiric fashion the heartlessness of people who are reluctant to donate to charities
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

, was widely interpreted as an attack on the Make a Wish Foundation, or even the terminally ill children helped by that organisation. Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Australia
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and Head of Her Majesty's Australian Government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of Australia. The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful...

 of the time Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd
Kevin Michael Rudd is an Australian politician who was the 26th Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2010...

 stated that The Chaser team "should hang their heads in shame". He went on to say that "I didn't see that but it's been described to me....But having a go at kids with a terminal illness is really beyond the pale, absolutely beyond the pale." Television station management suspended the show for two weeks and reduced the third season to eight episodes.

Satire under fire



Because satire criticises in an ironic, essentially indirect way, it frequently escapes censorship
Censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 in a way more direct criticism might not. Periodically, however, it runs into serious opposition, and people in power who perceive themselves as attacked attempt to censor it or prosecute its practitioners. In a very early instance of this, Aristophanes
Aristophanes
Aristophanes , son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete...

 was persecuted by the demagogue Cleon
Cleon
Cleon was an Athenian statesman and a Strategos during the Peloponnesian War. He was the first prominent representative of the commercial class in Athenian politics, although he was an aristocrat himself...

.

In 1599, the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 John Whitgift
John Whitgift
John Whitgift was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1583 to his death. Noted for his hospitality, he was somewhat ostentatious in his habits, sometimes visiting Canterbury and other towns attended by a retinue of 800 horsemen...

 and the Bishop of London
Bishop of London
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers 458 km² of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the River Thames and a small part of the County of Surrey...

 George Abbot
George Abbot (Archbishop of Canterbury)
George Abbot was an English divine and Archbishop of Canterbury. He also served as the fourth Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin, between 1612 and 1633....

, whose offices had the function of licensing books for publication in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, issued a decree banning verse satire. The decree ordered the burning of certain volumes of satire by John Marston
John Marston
John Marston was an English poet, playwright and satirist during the late Elizabethan and Jacobean periods...

, Thomas Middleton
Thomas Middleton
Thomas Middleton was an English Jacobean playwright and poet. Middleton stands with John Fletcher and Ben Jonson as among the most successful and prolific of playwrights who wrote their best plays during the Jacobean period. He was one of the few Renaissance dramatists to achieve equal success in...

, Joseph Hall, and others; it also required histories and plays to be specially approved by a member of the Queen's Privy Council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

, and it prohibited the future printing of satire in verse. The motives for the ban are obscure, particularly since some of the books banned had been licensed by the same authorities less than a year earlier. Various scholars have argued that the target was obscenity, libel, or sedition. It seems likely that lingering anxiety about the Martin Marprelate
Martin Marprelate
Martin Marprelate was the name used by the anonymous author or authors of the seven Marprelate tracts which circulated illegally in England in the years 1588 and 1589...

 controversy, in which the bishops themselves had employed satirists, played a role; both Thomas Nashe
Thomas Nashe
Thomas Nashe was an English Elizabethan pamphleteer, playwright, poet and satirist. He was the son of the minister William Nashe and his wife Margaret .-Early life:...

 and Gabriel Harvey
Gabriel Harvey
Gabriel Harvey was an English writer. Harvey was a notable scholar, though his reputation suffered from his quarrel with Thomas Nashe...

, two of the key figures in that controversy, suffered a complete ban on all their works. In the event, though, the ban was little enforced, even by the licensing authority itself.

In 2005, the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after 12 editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005...

 caused global protests by offended Muslims and violent attacks with many fatalities
Fatality
Fatality may refer to:* Death* Fatalism* A fatal error, in computing* Fatality , a finishing move in the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games* Fatality , a character published by DC Comics...

 in the Near East. It was not the first case of Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 protests against criticism in the form of satire, but the Western world was surprised by the hostility of the reaction: Any country's flag in which a newspaper chose to publish the parodies was being burnt in a Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 country, then embassies were attacked, killing 139 people in mainly four countries (see article
Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after 12 editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005...

); politicians throughout Europe agreed that satire was an aspect of the freedom of speech
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

, and therefore to be a protected means of dialogue. Iran threatened to start an International Holocaust Cartoon Competition, which was immediately responded to by Jews with an Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoons Contest
Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoons Contest
The Israeli Anti-Semitic Cartoons Contest was initiated by two Israeli artists in response to the Muhammad cartoons controversy and the subsequent "Holocaust Cartoon Competition" by the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri...

.

In 2006 British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Noam Baron Cohen is an English stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and voice artist. He is most widely known for his portrayal of three unorthodox fictional characters: Ali G, Borat, and Brüno...

 released Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, often referred to simply as Borat, is a 2006 mockumentary comedy film directed by Larry Charles and distributed by 20th Century Fox...

, a "mockumentary
Mockumentary
A mockumentary , is a type of film or television show in which fictitious events are presented in documentary format. These productions are often used to analyze or comment on current events and issues by using a fictitious setting, or to parody the documentary form itself...

" that satirized everyone, from high society to frat boys. Criticism of the film was heavy, from claims of antisemitism (despite the fact Cohen is Jewish) to the massive boycott of the film by the Kazakh
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

 government; the film itself had been a reaction to a longer quarrel between the government and the comedian.

In 2008, popular South African cartoonist and satirist Jonathan Shapiro (who is published under the pen name Zapiro) came under fire for depicting then-president of the ANC
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is the President of South Africa, elected by parliament following his party's victory in the 2009 general election....

 in the act of undressing in preparation for the implied rape of 'Lady Justice' which is held down by Zuma loyalists. The cartoon was drawn in response to Zuma's efforts to duck corruption charges, and the controversy was heightened by the fact that Zuma was himself acquitted of rape
Jacob Zuma rape trial
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, the President of South Africa starting in 2009 and current president of the governing political party, the African National Congress , was charged with rape in the Johannesburg High Court on 6 December 2005. The accuser, Zuma's deceased friend's daughter, was known by...

 in May 2006. In February 2009, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, viewed by some opposition parties as the mouthpiece of the governing ANC, shelved a satirical TV show created by Shapiro, and in May 2009 the broadcaster pulled a documentary about political satire (featuring Shapiro among others) for the second time, hours before scheduled broadcast. Apartheid South Africa also had a long history of censorship.

On December 29, 2009, Samsung sued Mike Breen
Michael Breen (author)
Michael Breen is an author and journalist covering North and South Korea. He has a regular newspaper column in The Korea Times, an English-language daily in South Korea.-Career:...

, and the Korea Times
The Korea Times
The Korea Times is the oldest of three English-language newspapers published daily in South Korea, along with The Korea Herald and The JoongAng Daily. It is part of the same newspaper group as Hankook Ilbo, a major Korean language daily...

 for $1 million, claiming criminal defamation over a satirical column published on Christmas Day, 2009.

Satirical prophecy


Satire is occasionally prophetic: the jokes precede actual events. Among the eminent examples are:
  • The 1784 presaging of modern daylight saving time
    Daylight saving time
    Daylight saving time —also summer time in several countries including in British English and European official terminology —is the practice of temporarily advancing clocks during the summertime so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less...

    , later actually proposed in 1907. While an American envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin
    Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

     anonymously published a letter in 1784 suggesting that Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

    ians economize on candles by arising earlier to use morning sunlight.
  • In the 1920s an English cartoonist
    Cartoonist
    A cartoonist is a person who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is usually humorous, mainly created for entertainment, political commentary or advertising...

     imagined a very laughable thing for that time: a hotel for cars. He drew a multi-story car park.
  • The second episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus
    Monty Python's Flying Circus
    Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a BBC TV sketch comedy series. The shows were composed of surreality, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags and observational sketches without punchlines...

    , which debuted in 1969, featured a skit entitled "The Mouse Problem
    The Mouse Problem
    "The Mouse Problem" is a Monty Python sketch, first aired in 1969 as part of Sex and Violence, the second episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus....

    " (meant to satirize contemporary media exposés on homosexuality), which depicted a cultural phenomenon eerily similar to modern furry fandom
    Furry fandom
    Furry fandom is a fandom for fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, the ability to speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothes...

     (which did not become widespread until the 1980s, over a decade after the skit was first aired)
  • The comedy film "Americathon
    Americathon
    Americathon is a 1979 American comedy film starring John Ritter, Fred Willard, Peter Riegert, Harvey Korman, and Nancy Morgan, with narration by George Carlin, based on a play by Firesign Theatre alumni Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman...

    ", released in 1979 and set in the United States of 1998, predicted a number of trends and events that would eventually unfold in the near future, including an American debt crisis, Chinese capitalism
    Capitalism
    Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

    , the fall of the Soviet Union
    Soviet Union
    The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

    , terrorism
    Terrorism
    Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

     aimed at the civilian population, a presidential sex scandal, corporate takeover of the government, and the popularity of reality shows.
  • In January 2001, a satirical news article in The Onion
    The Onion
    The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club...

    , entitled "Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity Is Finally Over" had newly elected President George Bush vowing to "develop new and expensive weapons technologies" and to "engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years." Furthermore he would "bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession." However, the article predicted the "deregulation of ... industries, and the defunding of ... social-service programs," which turned out to be erroneous, as the Administration dramatically increased such spending, including under a trillion dollar prescription drug program.
  • In 1975, the first episode of Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

     included an ad for a triple blade razor called the Triple-Trac; in 2001, Gillette introduced the Mach3. In 2004, The Onion
    The Onion
    The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is an entertainment newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club...

     satirized Shick and Gillette's marketing of ever-increasingly multi-blade razors with a mock article proclaiming Gillette will now introduce a five-blade razor. In 2006, Gillette released the Gillette Fusion, a five-blade razor.

See also


  • List of satirists and satires
  • News satire
    News satire
    thumb|right|220px|[[The Daily Show with Jon Stewart]] is a news satire program.News satire, also called fake news , is a type of parody presented in a format typical of mainstream journalism, and called a satire because of its content...

  • Onomastì komodèin
    Onomastì komodèin
    Onomasti komodein was an expression used in Ancient Greece to denote a witty personal attack made with total freedom against the most notable individuals in order to expose their wrongful conduct....

  • Parody religion
    Parody religion
    A parody religion or mock religion is a parody of a religion, sect or cult. A parody religion can be a parody of several religions, sects, gurus and cults at the same time. Or, it can be a parody of no particular religion, instead parodying the concept of religious belief...

  • Political satire
    Political satire
    Political satire is a significant part of satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics; it has also been used with subversive intent where political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing political arguments where such arguments are expressly...