Satire is a genre of COMEDY that is directed at ridiculing human

What are examples of satire that come to your mind?
It is a genre of COMEDY that is directed at
ridiculing human foibles and vices, such as
vanity, hypocrisy, stupidity, and greed.
 It differs from pure comedy in that the aim is
not simply to evoke laughter, but to expose
and censure such faults, often with the aim of
correcting them.
 The target of the satire may vary.
Another definition
A writing designed to make readers
criticize themselves, society, human
foolishness and weakness, human vices
and crimes, or anything the writer is
dissatisfied about in general in an
attempt to bring about some sort of
Satires can target an individual
In some works, it is a
particular individual,
as in a Simpson’s
episode - it is
directed at a
president, George
Bush, whom Matt
Goering depicts as too
strict and up-tight.
Satires can target a group or set of
An example of this is the
satire against the
members of the
American military
establishment in Joseph
Heller’s Catch-22
A satire against an
institution, such as
totalitarianism in
George Orwell’s Animal
Farm (1946).
Satires can even aim at the whole of
For example, Book IV of
Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s
Travels (1726). That
section of the novel is set on
an imaginary island, which
is inhabited by two
radically opposed species:
the brutish Yahoos, who
have the outward form of
human beings, and their
masters, the Houyhnhnms,
talking horses who embody
the humane intelligence that
the Yahoos entirely lack.
Direct Satire also called formal satire
In direct satire, the
NARRATOR addresses a
specific audience. either
the reader or an
invented listener, whom
he or she expects will
sympathize with the
views expressed.
Direct satire is the oldest
and, historically, most
common form of satiric
Comedians like direct satire
Because explicit
satire is more
efficient, it is the
kind most likely to
be presented by
Indirect satire
Indirect satire or informal satire, the usual mode
of ridicule in stories, poems, plays or novels, is not
cast in the form of a direct address to the audience.
Rather, the indictment of the character’s vices and
lies is implied by simply representing their thoughts
and actions.
Sometimes that presentation is helped by the
Turn to your partner and analyze the
satire in this poem.
By the time you swear you’re his,
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying—
Lady, make a note of this;
One of you is lying.
-Dorothy Parker, “Unfortunate Coincidence”
Two types of Satire
Although satire began
with the plays of
Aristophanes, the main
founders of the form
were two Roman poets,
Horace (65-68 B.C.E.)
and Juvenal (c. 65 –c.
135 C.E.). Each wrote a
distinctive type of satire
that has given its name
to and inspired the two
major categories of
subsequent satiric works.
Horatian Satire is gentle
Gentle and humorous satire is called “Horatian
Satire ” after the writing style of the Roman
poet Horace.
Horatian satire is tolerant and urbane, indulgently
mocking faults with the aim of evoking wry
amusement rather than repulsion or indignation in
the audience
Characterized by playful mockery, a conversational
and often gently instructive tone, and easily
accessible language
Horatian Satire
Horatian satire places more emphasis on the
comedic aspects, but this does not mean that it
can not incorporate biting social commentary;
quite the opposite, in fact. The Horatian
technique employs subtlety instead of resorting
to a direct attack, prompting some to accuse
the Horatian tone of an excess of tolerance.
Mark Twain used Horatian Satire
throughout Huckleberry Finn
" Humor must not
professedly teach,
and it must not
professedly preach,
but it must do both if
it would live forever.”
“Humor is mankind’s
greatest blessing.”
Example of Mrs. Watson
“And she took snuff,
too; of course that
was all right because
she done it herself.”
Turn to your partner,
who or what is Twain
Another example
The idea of Emmeline
keeping a scrapbook
filled with “obituaries
and accidents and cases
of patient suffering” is
not what a normal girl
her age would do.
Here Twain pokes fun at
the preoccupation with
death in the mawkish
drawings and bathetic
verse of an adolescent
would-be poet.
More examples
Lois Lowry’s prize-winning
children’s book The Giver is of
Horatian Satire, as is George
Orwell’s Animal Farm.
These books both have antitotalitarian messages.
But because Animal Farm
comes closer to being
Horatian satire with its
nostalgic barnyard and its
“lovable” set of farm animals,
when it was first submitted to
American publishers they
missed the point and turned it
down saying the prospective
market for “animal stories”
was too small.
Juvenalian satire is harsh
It is censorious, bitterly
condemning vices and
foibles and inciting the
audience to feelings of
indignation and even
An example is Mark
Twain’s Pudd’nhead
Wilson, an acerbic
denunciation of the
injustices of slavery.
Juvenalian satire
Characterized by biting sarcasm, bitter irony, moral
indignation, pessimism, and an antagonistic tone.
The object of Juvenalian satire is most often a specific
person or social institution (as opposed to satirizing
human folly in general), sometimes thinly cloaked in
the guise of fiction or allegory.
The Juvenalian satirist treads a fine line between
satire and tirade.
When successful, Juvenalian satire is a witty, clever
condemnation of humanity's flaws. When unsuccessful,
it resembles an extended whine that may prompt the
reader to wonder what crawled up the author's rear
and died.
Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” if the
most famous Juvevalian satire.
In this satire, Swift
denounces the
exploitation of Catholic
peasants in his native
Ireland by absentee
British landlords, who
were indifferent to the
suffering they were
causing and who were
abetted by the apathy
of the British Parliament
and monarchy.
You will never forget it
Few people who read
Swift’s “Modest
Proposal” ever forget
it. Because it touches
such deep psychic
nerves, it illustrates
the satirist’s major
tool, which is playing
with the emotions of
readers or listeners.
The satirist often
assumes the persona of
the unblemished,
morally superior critic
who is beyond
reproach, and as such,
is uniquely qualified to
deliver a crushing blow
to whatever target
happens to draw his or
her ire.
Range of Satire Continuum
................... JUVENALIAN
ATTACK – DIRECT ................... INDIRECT
(little or no ironic diction)
(much ironic
TARGET - TOPICAL ................... UNIVERSAL
(short-lived, current)
Satire has a long history and occurs across genres
ranging from Aesop’s fables and Shel Silverstein’s
poetry to Art Buchwald’s newspaper columns and Paul
Krassner’s newsletter The Realist.
It also includes political and social cartoons, such
television programs as late-night talk shows and The
Colbert Report, such movies as Wag the Dog and The
Truman Show, and such novels as C.S. Lewis’s
Screwtape Letters and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New
Questions to ask when considering a
Who or what is the target?
 What weapon (comedy technique) is being
 Who might not understand this satire and why?
 Who might be offended by this satire?