Guide to Literary Terms

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Parody

Parody - a humorous, satirical, or burlesque imitation of a person, event, or serious work of literature designed to ridicule in nonsensical fashion or to criticize by clever duplication. The term is also used for a comic imitation of a serious poem, similar to cartoon caricature of a person’s face.

The term is from the Greek paroidia, meaning “burlesque poem or song.”

This technique has been traced back as far as ancient Greek. “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale” from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, as well as some of Swift’s and Joyce’s works, are parodies.

see: lampoon