What is parody and how can I appreciate it?

Parody is another style of writing invented by the Ancient Greeks. It is similar to satire, in the sense that it often involves irony. Ancient authors began parodying their predecessors by producing writing that was very similar in nature to their famous counterparts – such as Homer, the alleged inventor of the epic genre – but which had subtle differences that served to mock or ridicule other authors’ content and style.

Modern examples can frequently be found today and the technique is often used by comedians to imitate whomsoever they are talking about in a humorous manner.

So you may have laughed at many an example of parody without even realising it, if you have not come across the definition before!

The key to writing successful parody is the ability to create a delicate combination of subtlety and overt ridicule. If you go too far down the line of subtlety, your writing may be lost on your audience, whilst if you veer too far down the track of overt ridicule, you can risk causing alarm and, indeed, offence.

The line is very fine and the line is all the worth seeking if you are not afraid to walk along the tightrope that, in essence, is parody. Perhaps you might wish to read some examples from the ancients before attempting to emulate their greatness yourself.


Copyright © Natasha Poole 2023


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