Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.
Definition of Satire
Satire is the use of different elements such as irony, sarcasm, humor and ridicule to criticize or mock the foolish behavior of others. Although the use of satire is often entertaining, it is also often used to bring attention to a particular subject and promote change.
An error occurred trying to load this video.
Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.
You must cCreate an account to continue watching
Register to view this lesson
As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.
Get unlimited access to over 84,000 lessons.Try it now
Already registered? Log in here for accessBack
Types of Satire in Literature: Horatian
Horatian satire is clever and humorous and generally mocks others. Horatian satire is not negative; it aims to make fun of human behavior in a comic way. In a work using Horatian satire, readers often laugh at the characters in the story who are the subject of mockery as well as themselves and society for behaving in those ways. One example of Horatian satire in literature is The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. In the play, the word 'earnest' is satirized throughout the story. In Victorian times, to be 'earnest' was to be intelligent; however, two of the women in the story desire a man named Earnest just because they like the name.
Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice is also an example of a novel showing Horatian satire. Pride and Prejudice shows the ignorance of the people during the 18th century. In the novel, Jane Austen makes fun of various characters in the story and their views of marriage and relationships. Some characters are simply interested in the marriage but not the relationship.
Types of Satire in Literature: Juvenalian
Juvenalian satire shows anger and resentfulness. It can be personal, and its goal is to provoke change. In William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Juvenalian satire is used to mock societal structure, power and civilization. The novel takes place around World War II, a time of destruction, despair and death. In the novel, a group of young boys are stranded on a deserted island and try to create structure on the island by having rules and a leader; however, their structure breaks down due to the true nature of man.
A second example of Juvenalian satire is Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels. Gulliver's Travels is a political satire about government in Europe during the 18th century. The novel is based on Swift's own experiences traveling and working throughout Europe. Swift uses fictional cities and people to show the corruption of societal views and behaviors.
Many authors use satire to create deep meaning in their stories. Satire is an element of literature used to provoke change. Satire uses humor, exaggeration, ridicule and criticism to create change in others. Horatian satire and Juvenalian satire are the two most common forms of satire. Horatian satire is less harsh and takes a comical view at human injustices, while Juvenalian satire is used to mock or criticize societal views and behaviors.
Complete your study of this lesson on satire in literature so that you can go on to:
- Point out the purpose of satire in literature
- Characterize Horatian and Juvenalian satire
- Provide examples of both types of satire
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack
Satire in Literature: Definition, Types & Examples
Related Study Materials
Explore our library of over 84,000 lessons
- College Courses
- High School Courses
- Other Courses
- Create a Goal
- Create custom courses
- Get your questions answered