Satire is a verbal or visual mode of expression that uses ridicule to diminish its subject in the eyes of its audience. It is a mode (cf. romance, tragedy and comedy) that can operate in any number of different formal structures. Thus an epic poem, such as Pope's The Dunciad, or a narrative prose account of imaginary travels, such as Swift's Gulliver's Travels, or a ballad opera, such as Gay's The Beggar's Opera, to take three works published between 1726-8 but written in very different forms, are each properly referred to as satires because they share certain common qualities in terms of their overall conception. The authors of each are intent on making fun of the absurdity, pretension and degeneracy of the …
Gordon, Ian. "Satire". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2002; last revised 30 November -1.
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