The Importance of Satire
Satire is one of the oldest forms of art known to mankind. We find it in written works just as often as we find it in theaters and on TV. And there’s a good reason why it has persisted for so long – we not only like it, but also use it as one of the main methods for active engagement in society. Here’s a brief history of satire, as well as an explanation of why it’s still so important.
When talking about satire, we usually refer to a group of literary works that date back to Ancient Egypt and Greece. It was especially beloved by Greeks, who frequented theaters to see both dramas and comedies. But one of their favorite types of comedy was satire in particular. That’s why the works of Aristophanes were so popular – he was one of the best Greek playwrights who frequently used satire to make his audience laugh. During Shakespeare’s era, satire was equally popular. It was done by many, almost all, playwrights and enjoyed by both those of high and low social status.
But satire got even more popular during the 20th century, that is, with the rise of mass media. All of a sudden, we had newspapers and magazines coming out on a daily basis, as well as radio shows airing almost all the time. And every newspaper, every magazine and every radio channel had at least one satirical piece as part of the regular program. The reason behind this is the fact that we love combining politics with humor as a way to deal with the negative in a more light-hearted manner. But does that mean that satire as such is important?
The fact that something’s popular doesn’t say much about its value. But satire is considered to be important by most theoreticians simply because of the fact that it raises questions about our society and makes people think about it in a more critical way.