Satire – what is it and where did it originate from?

Satire is one of the oldest styles of political commentary and writing. It has its origins in Ancient Greek culture and we first find examples of it in the early 400s B.C. during a time in which the Greek city states were in a series of wars against each other, known as the Peloponnesian Wars.

Aristophanes was a famous Greek playwright and tragedian who lived during this period in the city state of Athens. He is renowned for his comedies, which made fun of political figures, in a clever and amusing way which challenged the views held within society at the time. He had the idea of using humour as a way of educating the population and exposing weaknesses in political policy and activities.

Some of his most celebrated plays include: The Frogs, The Wasps, The Clouds and Lysistrata, some of which I will write about further in my later posts.

The Romans also heavily used satire and many authors were partial to the technique, such Horace and Juvenal.

Satire uses a clever combination of wit, irony, intelligence and often analogy in order to convey a particular point or teach its audience an insightful lesson.

Today we still see instances of satire and whilst the genre unfortunately is not taught in many a curriculum, having the ability to understand irony in all its forms can help us put the world in which we live today into better context and a more healthy perspective!

If you are curious to know more or wish to learn about satire or any other style of writing, please do not hesitate to send me a message via my contact form and I will reply to you as soon as I can.


Satire – what is it and where did it originate from?

Copyright © Natasha Poole 2023


2 responses to “Satire – what is it and where did it originate from?”

  1. What an informative post. I don’t believe I grasp fully what satire is, but I’ve read a couple books that have been touted as exemplary satire on society, like Animal Farm and Slaughterhouse Five. I’d also like to think that Terry Pratchett’s works is satire disguised as light humour. I like your choice of topics on your blog, Natasha. Will check out the parody one next!

    1. Hi Stuart, it is wonderful to hear that you found the post helpful and that you have already started delving into the genre of satire. It is, indeed, very clever and often witty, so it can take a while to appreciate the style in its fullest! I do hope you enjoy reading the post about parody and do feel free to get in touch if you would like to learn more about either. All the best, Natasha

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