Satire

stephen colbert

Satire is a literary genre where vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.

A common feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing as well. Satire is not possible under dictatorships. It was not allowed, for example, in the Soviet Union. Anyone trying to make fun of Stalin would have been put to death immediately.

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