Satire Literary Terms

Topics: ArtComedy

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Last updated: May 8, 2019

farce
type of comedy with ridiculous situations, characters, events

humor
quality of literary work that makes the characters & their situations seem funny, amusing, or ludicrous; often points out the foibles or incongruities of human nature & the irony found in many situations; includes sarcasm, exaggeration, puns, & verbal irony

hyperbole
figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor

irony
contrast or discrepancy b/w expectation & reality

verbal irony
person says one thing while meaning another

situational irony
outcome of a situation is opposite of what someone expected

dramatic irony
when audience or reader knows something that the characters do not

juxtaposition
fact of two things being seen or placed close together w/ contrasting effect

malapropism
mistaken use of a word in place of a similar sounding one, often w/ unintentionally amusing effect; trying to sound educated by using a sophisticated word, but it is wrong

parody
humorous imitation of a literary work that aims to point out the work’s shortcomings; imitates some defining feature of the work, such as its style, exaggerating it to comic effect

pun
joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words that sound alike but have different meanings

satire
literature that exposes to ridicule the vices or follies of people or societies through devices such as exaggeration, understatement, & irony

stereotype
generalization about a group of people that is made w/o regard for individual differences; in literature, this term is often used to describe a conventional character who conforms to an expected, fixed pattern of behavior

understatement
language that makes something seem less important than it really is; may be used to add humor or focus to the reader’s attention on something the author wants to empahsize

wit
exhibition of cleverness & humor

distortion
giving a misleading account or impression

invective
speech or writing that attacks, insults, or denounces a person, topic, or institution; involves the use of negative language

diatribe
an angry & usually long speech or piece of writing that strongly criticizes someone or something

rant
to speak or write in an angry or violent manner

euphemism
polite, indirect expressions which replace words & phrases considered harsh & impolite or which suggest something unpleasant

parable
short fictitious story that is presented to teach a religious principle, simple truth or moral lesson

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