Guide to Literary Terms

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Satire

Satire - the use of humor and wit with a critical attitude, irony, sarcasm, or ridicule for exposing or denouncing the frailties and faults of mankind’s activities and institutions, such as folly, stupidity, or vice. This usually involves both moral judgment and a desire to help improve a custom, belief, or tradition.

The term is from the Latin satura, meaning “full” or “sated” and was derived from satis, meaning “enough” or “sufficient.”

Satire began with the early Greek poets when they were supposed to tax weaknesses and correct vice. As a distinct literary form, satire was the creation of the Romans and was...

(The entire section is 202 words.)