The Elements of Satire Powerpoint 3P - La Quinta High School

					The Elements of Satire
 Satire should, like a polished razor keen, Wound
      with a touch that's scarcely felt or seen.
             -Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
              What is satire?
• Comes from the latin word satura, meaning “dish
  of mixed ingredients”.
• A technique in which a writer ridicules or
  criticizes a person, group, institution or event
  using certain literary devices.
• Usually witty.
• Almost always sarcastic or ironic.
• Usually has a tone of “mock-approval” –
  sarcastically supporting the very thing it is
How does the definition of satire relate to its latin
              Forms of Satire
•   Drama (Tartuffe – Moliere, The Importance of
    Being Earnest – Oscar Wilde )
•   Journalism (The Onion)
•   Fiction (A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift,
    The Lowest Animal – Mark Twain)
•   Poetry (The Rape of the Locke – Alexander
•   Graphic Arts (editorial cartoons)
•   Television programs (Saturday Night Live, The
    Colbert Report)
•   Music (With God on Our Side – Bob Dylan,
    Weird Al)
 Examples of Satire in Pop Culture

 Saturday Night   Live’s Weekend Update
 The Daily Show
 Scary Movie
 Austin Powers
 Political cartoons
 This is Spinal Tap
 Songs by Weird Al Yankovich (White and
 The Simpsons
           Satirical Techniques

•   Sarcasm
•   Irony
•   Parody
•   Burlesque
•   Elevated word choice
•   Puns
•   Hyperbole/exaggeration
                   Methods of Satire

   Pun: play on words
   Hyperbole: overstatement often used to show how ridiculous a situation is.
   Burlesque is an imitation of a person or subject by exaggeration or distortion.
       a frivolous subject may be treated with mock dignity
       a weighty subject might be handled in a trivial style
       character who should use formal, intelligent language speaks like a fool
        or a character who is portrayed as uneducated uses highly
        sophisticated, intelligent language. Ex: Princess Bride – “Marriage,
        marriage”, giant who rhymes

   Parody mocks not a person or subject, but a specific literary work or style,
    by imitating features and applying them to trivial or incongruous materials.
    Weird Al song, Beat it ---Eat it.
              Pair Share
 By definition, satire is _____________.
 One technique utilized to create satire is
 _______________. One example of satire
 I have seen, read or heard is
 Apple Hard At Work Making iPhone Obsolete
            FEBRUARY 12, 2007

CUPERTINO, CA—Only a month after the much-heralded announcement
of the iPhone, Apple CEO Steve Jobs confirmed that his engineers were
already working around-the-clock on the touchscreen smartphone's far-
superior replacement. "We looked at [the iPhone's] innovative user
interface, the paradigm-shifting voicemail, the best-in-class mobile browser,
and we realized we could make all that seem ridiculously outdated by the
time the product becomes available to customers in June," said Jobs, who
described the project as "Apple reinventing the iPhone." "When the second-
generation iPhone comes out this fall, we want iPhone users to feel not just
jealous, but downright foolish for owning such laughably primitive
technology." Jobs also hinted that the second iPhone device would not be
compatible with existing Mac computers, third-party peripherals, or any
future Apple products.
          Sample Response
 In order to mock/ ridicule technology
  companies, this article utilizes sarcasm
  and irony. For example, Jobs supposedly
  states that apple wants “users to feel not just
  jealous, but downright foolish for owning such
  laughably primitive technology."
  Factual Error Found On Internet
                 May 22, 2002 |
LONGMONT, CO—The Information Age was
 dealt a stunning blow Monday, when a factual
 error was discovered on the Internet. The error
 was found on,
 a Brady Bunch fan site that incorrectly listed
 the show's debut year as 1968, not 1969.
Caryn Wisniewski, a Pueblo, CO, legal secretary
 and diehard Brady Bunch fan, came across the
 mistake while searching for information about
 the show's first-season cast.
Attempts to contact the webmaster of "Ted's Ultimate
  Brady Bunch Site," identified as Ted Crewes of
  Naugatuck, CT, were unsuccessful. The page has
  been taken offline by its host,, which
  released a statement Tuesday.
"We at Cheaphost were deeply saddened and disturbed
  to learn that one of the millions of pages we host
  contained a factual discrepancy," the web-posted
  statement read. "Please be assured that we are doing
  everything within our power to ensure that nothing of
  the sort happens again. We will not rest until the
  Internet's once-sterling reputation as the world's
  leading source for 100 percent reliable information is
Paul Boutin, senior editor of Wired, said the error is
  likely to have a profound effect on how the Internet is
 "Will we ever fully trust the Web again?"
 Boutin asked. "We may well be witnessing the
 dawn of a new era of skepticism in which we
 no longer accept everything we read online at
 face value. But regardless of what the future
 holds, one thing is clear: The Internet's status
 as the world's definitive repository of
 incontrovertible fact has been jeopardized."
               Pair Share
 In order to mock/ ridicule __________, this
  article utilizes ____________. For
  example, _________________________.
              Why Satire?
Now that you know the elements of satire,
 what do you think makes satire effective?
 Why do writers use satire instead of
 criticizing the person, group or institution
                Your Turn
Read the letter to Puff Daddy and find
 examples of satirical devices. What group
 or type of people is the writer of the letter
 comically criticizing?

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