February 6, 2008
English Mrs. Wells
The Art of Satire
Satire: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
Satire can be one of the most artistic literary genres and often the most misunderstood. Although it is generally perceived as a humorous portrayal of its author’s opinion, it is actually one of the most dramatic expressions of thought. Most often, when an author chooses to use satire, irony, or sarcasm in his writings, they usually are very strongly disturbed by their subject. Satire is simply this: Debating one’s own strong beliefs in a way that is humorously harsh and berating to one’s opposition.
Satire integrates tragedy with comedy in a brilliant attempt to demonstrate concern or stance on an important issue. Satirists will usually bring about irony and exaggeration to create a joke about something meaningful and significant to their opposition. Although it may come off as making light of an issue, it’s calmly intensifying the battle of wits between one extreme and another; which makes satire a cunning blow to an opposing point.
Satire, being so brilliantly effective in persuasion, is possibly one of the most difficult methods of writing. No witless, indifferent author could produce a composition that both draws the admiration of his audience with his comedic wordplay, and extinguishes all opposing theories with his aphorisms and haughty declarations. Satirists get away with being childlike in their arguments by making up for their immaturity with clever assertions and snide remarks.
In satire, it is usually very clear that the author’s goal is sarcasm, and satirical writings are usually accompanied by a brief author’s note to clarify but on occasion one might be fooled by the jabbing diction of a satirist, and become the victim of merciless wit, himself.