What Is the Difference Between Satire and Humour
Satire is something most people identify with humor. However, in some cases they have nothing to do with each other. What is humor and how exactly is satire defined? When do they overlap and why? If you’re interested in finding out the answer to these questions, simply read on!
Humor is a part of human experience, as can be seen from the fact that all cultures show signs of the existence of sense of humor. Although there is no consensus on how exactly humor should be defined, most theoreticians agree that it involves two things – a special kind of cognitive behavior and laughter as its result. This cognitive behavior is especially difficult to define. That’s due to the fact that we have a wide range of different types of humor. To name just a few, there are jokes, anecdotes, parodies, stand-up comedy and situational humor.
Satire is an art form that uses different types of tools for the purpose of criticizing something, usually people and their flaws. Some of the tools that are most commonly used by satirists include ridicule, exaggeration and irony. Another defining characteristic of satire is its connection with expression of political views. It’s a historical fact that people have been using satire as a way of communicating their political beliefs for as long as we can remember. And last but not least, the point of a satirical work is usually hidden below at least one layer of meaning. As a result, in order to understand satire, a person needs to be actively engaged in the form in which it’s expressed.
As we’ve already mentioned, satire uses various tools to relay its point. But among the most popular ones, we have humor. That’s how humor and satire are connected. While they can have nothing in common, such as in Swift’s Modest Proposal, they can be inextricably intertwined, such as in most episodes of Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show.