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From Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms


Satirical literature


  • Literature that uses wit, irony, or sarcasm to hold up human vices or foibles to ridicule or scorn.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Satirical literature
  • Variants

    • Satires (Literature)
    • Satiric literature
  • Broader Terms

  • Narrower Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Baldick, C. The Oxford dictionary of literary terms, 2008(satire. A mode of writing that exposes the failings of individuals, institutions, or societies to ridicule and scorn. Satire is often an incidental element in literary works that may not be wholly satirical, especially in comedy. Its tone may vary from tolerant amusement, as in the verse satires of Horace, to bitter indignation, as in the verse of Juvenal and the prose of Jonathan Swift. Various forms of literature may be satirical, from the plays of Ben Jonson or of Molière and the poetry of Chaucer or Byron to the prose writings of Rabelais and Voltaire.)
    • found: Quinn, E. A dictionary of literary and thematic terms, c1999(satire. A type of literature that aims to ridicule folly or vice in a society, an institution, or an individual. Satire uses laughter as a weapon against any target that the satirist considers silly, stupid, or vicious. As such it is an attack, but an attack ameliorated by the element of play. The aim is to be entertaining as well as censorious, to create fun by poking fun. Satiric passages enhance and enliven many plays, poems, and novels that are not themselves satires, but there are also outstanding examples of works that are pure satires.)
  • General Notes

    • Literature that uses wit, irony, or sarcasm to hold up human vices or foibles to ridicule or scorn.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2016-02-18: revised
  • Alternate Formats

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