Guide to Literary Terms

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What is the definition of parody?

The definition of parody is a work intended to humorously mimic another work, author, or tradition.


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Last Updated May 25, 2023.

A parody is a literary work that imitates the style of another work, writer, or genre, in an intentionally exaggerated manner to create a humorous effect. 


Parody derives from the Greek word paroidia, meaning “burlesque song or poem,” from para (“beyond, beside”) and aidein (“to sing”). 


The first known usage of parody in English was by playwright Ben Jonson in his play Every Man in His Humour.


Stella Gibbons’s novel Cold Comfort Farm is a parody of dark rural novels by writers like Mary Webb and Thomas Hardy.


see: satirelampoon

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