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Intro to Satire

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Tricia Rodriguez

on 30 January 2015

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Transcript of Intro to Satire

Satire - The whats and whys and hows
Analysis of Satirical Video - "Tech Talk"
So What is Satire?
- A genre of literature that ridicules or shames: Individuals, corporations, or society itself
--- Attacks the vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings of these figures.

- Purpose: to make people aware of what needs to be improved or changed (in the creator's opinion) in society- in other words, constructive social criticism.

- Satire is often humorous: Wit as a weapon to draw attention to issues
So what have you learned today?
- Traditionally in play or poetic form, satire has involved into much more today.

- It is often humorously ironic, and implicitly attacks issues within our society

- Today, satirical poetry is experiencing a decline

- However, it has fostered an entire new generation of satire --- yep, like The Daily Show, Colbert Report and The Onion!

The take away: Nothing is ever what it seems. Always look beyond the surface.
Let's do a bit of time travel...
The oldest surviving piece of Satire: The play, Acharnians by Aristophanes in 425 BCE
The Irony: While useless politicians are being greedy and selfish, a normal middle-aged farmer is able to almost miraculously broker a piece treaty between Sparta and Athens, ending a series of costly and disastrous wars.
Message: War is not justice, it is havok, Peace should be striven for, above all.
Forget about the Greeks...Let's look at Satire today
Why is it important? What makes it so effective?
Aspects of Satire
Being Implicit: Implying, not directly stating its meaning
Which irony terms do we see here?

1. Exaggeration?

2. Verbal Irony?

3. Black Humor?

4. Parody?

5. Incongruity?

6. Reversal?
My dragon always loved walks
He used to go to the wall
where the golden chain hung
and take it in his mouth
laying his head on my lap
sideways, so the fire wouldn’t burn my skirt

He looked so funny that way
with his wings dragging the floor
and his rear end high up
because he couldn’t bend his hind legs
He was so well trained
always keeping his claws retracted
when he walked on the rug

With him on the leash, I could go anywhere
No band of robbers dared attack

This morning in the woods
we had stopped for a drink
where a spring gushes out of a cave

when suddenly, a man in amour
riding a white horse
leapt out of the bushes
crying “Have no fear, Maiden
I will save you”

And before I could say a word
he had stabbed my dragon in the throat
and leaping down from the horse
cut off his head
and held it up for me to see
the poor dead eyes still surprised
and mine filling with tears
He hadn’t even had time to put out his claws

And the man said
“Don’t cry, Maiden
You are safe now
But let me give some good advice
Don’t ever walk alone in the woods
for the next time you meet a dragon
there might not be a knight around to save you”
by Nancy Senior
Satirical Poetry Analysis
Story Background:
St George was a heroic Christian knight who, according to legend, saved a princess and city from the terrors of a dragon by heroically slaying it.
Literary Devices: Irony
Dragon: Not an evil monster, but the princess’ beloved pet.

St George: Not a heroic knight, but the man who foolishly slayed a darling protector.

Princess: A damsel, but hardly in distress (until St George came riding along)

This SNL sketch is portraying a "tech talk" show in which modern technology is discussed and reviewed. This particular episode is focusing on the complaints made about the newly released iphone 5.
Humorous Devices:
1. Exaggeration: Taking something that does happen, but exaggerating it to absurd lengths.

2. Verbal Irony: Makes point in a less harsh fashion

3. Black Humor:: Creating a tension between laughter and horror or revulsion; the essence of all “sick humor: or “black humor”

4. Parody : A mocking imitation of usually serious, piece of work. Designed to ridicule in nonsensical fashion

5. Incongruity: To present things that are absurd or out of place in relation to its surroundings. Could utilize oxymoron, metaphor or irony.

6. Reversal: To present the opposite of the normal order
Serving desert before breakfast (sequence)
Child ordering around parent (power reversal)

Parenting Magazine Cover
Full transcript