What Is The Value Of Satire, In Your Opinion?


2 Answers

Oscar De La Huerte Profile
The value of satire is hard to measure, simply because it can relate to a number of things. In my opinion, satire is an effective way of criticizing something in a humorous and light-hearted manner, especially when the subject in question would be less-effectively approached by more conventional means.

What is the Definition of Satire?

Before I go on to discuss the benefits of satire in any more detail, I feel it's important to make sure we all understand what satire actually is. One dictionary definition of satire is: "the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices".
It might also be relevant to note that satire is very often used in the context of criticizing politics and politicians.

Value of Satire in Literature

Literature is one field where satire is held in high regard. When we talk about satire, we often refer to two types: Horatian and Juvenalian.

Horatian satire is usually whimsical and light-hearted in nature, whilst

Juvenalian satire makes use of scorn and outrage in its tone.

Examples of Horatian satire include:
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  • The True Englishman by Daniel Defoe
Examples of Juvenlian satire would be:
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Naked Lunch by William Boroughs
Satirical works of literature often use the following techniques:
  • Irony
  • Parody
  • Sarcasm
  • Double-entendre
  • Exaggeration
  • Analogy
The Value of Satire in Contemporary Culture
Satire is commonly used to criticize aspects of our contemporary culture, and politicians are usually the butt of a lot of satirical comedy.

In the UK, television shows such as Not The Ten O'Clock News, Mock The Week and Spitting Image are all examples of the modern use of satire.

In this context, I'd argue that satire is important because it is a popular medium through which politicians' behaviour and decisions are examined and criticized. Whilst there are certainly other arenas where this can be done, I can't think of any that are as entertaining.

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