Verbal is a figure of speech. The speaker intends to be understood as meaning something that



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Satire notes

  • Irony

    • Verbal - is a figure of speech.  The speaker intends to be understood as meaning something that contrasts with the literal or usual meaning of what he says.  The different sorts of discrepancy between the meaning of what is said and what is in fact on the particular occasion meant with it give rise to different kinds of verbal irony. Sarcasm is particularly cutting verbal irony.

    • Dramatic - a discrepancy between a speaker's understanding of the full situation and the situation as some audience understands it. 

    • Situational - Situational irony occurs in literature and in drama when persons and events come together in improbable situations, creating a tension between expected and real results.

  • Wit - The ability to perceive and express in an ingeniously humorous manner the relationship between seemingly incongruous or disparate things.

  • Caricature - A representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject's distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect.

  • Pun & Innuendo

    • Pun - A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar sense or sound of different words.

    • Innuendo - An indirect or subtle reference to something rude or unpleasant

  • Hyperbole & Understatement

    • Overstatement - the meaning that ordinarily attaches to what is said is an exaggeration of what the speaker uses it to mean.  Overstatement is still referred so sometimes today by the name given it by the ancient Greek students of rhetoric:  hyperbole ("hy-PER-bo-lee"), from hyperballein (to exceed, hit beyond the mark, from hyper over + ballein to throw, cast).  The adjective form is "hyperbolic." 

    • Understatement - Restraint or lack of emphasis in expression, as for rhetorical effect; Litotes ("lie-TOW-teez," from Greek litos, simple, plain) is a special form of understatement in which we affirm something by negating its contrary.

  • Incongruity - In 1790 the German philosopher Immanuel Kant in The Critique of Judgment focused on the requirement of surprise when he claimed that laughter is an emotion that arises from a strained expectation suddenly reduced to nothing. William Hazlitt, in his 1819 Lectures on the Comic Writers, credited laughter as coming from the incongruity that results when one idea disconnects or is bumped up against another feeling. Arthur Schopenhauer agreed in 1844, when he explained in The World as Will and Idea that laughter is a way of acknowledging an incongruity between the conceptions that listeners or viewers hold in their minds and what happens to upset their expectations.

  • Burlesque - A literary or dramatic work that ridicules a subject either by presenting a solemn subject in an undignified style or an inconsequential subject in a dignified style.

  • Farce - A light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect.

  • Parody - A composition that imitates the serious manner and characteristic features of a particular work, or the distinctive style of its maker, and applies the imitation to a lowly or comically inappropriate subject.  Often a parody is more powerful in its influence on affairs of current importance--politics for instance--than its original composition.  It is a variety of burlesque.

  • Horatian satire - After the Roman satirist Horace:  Satire in which the voice is indulgent, tolerant, amused, and witty.  The speaker holds up to gentle ridicule the absurdities and follies of human beings, aiming at producing in the reader not the anger of a Juvenal, but a wry smile.

  • Juvenalian satire - After the Roman satirist Juvenal:  Formal satire in which the speaker attacks vice and error with contempt and indignation  Juvenalian satire in its realism and its harshness is in strong contrast to Horatian satire.

  • Reductio ad absurdum - The often humorous outcome of extending the simplification of a flawed statement to ridiculous proportions with the aim of criticizing the result is frequently utilized in forms of humor. In fiction, seemingly simple and innocuous actions that are extended beyond reasonable circumstance to chaotic outcomes, typically by use of stereotype and literal interpretation, can also be categorized as reductio ad absurdum


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