A very common, almost defining feature of satire is its strong vein of irony or sarcasm. There are several other things like parody exaggeration, comparison etc. used in satirical speech and writing. The essential point is “in satire, irony is militant.” This “militant irony” often professes to approve the very things the satirist actually wishes to attack.
Satirical works often contain straight humour- usually to give some relief from what might be otherwise relentless preaching, a little comic relief from away from the main story line or message. This is probably more marked in modern satire. On the other hand some satires have little or no humour at all, it is not “funny” – nor is it meant to be.
Humour about a particular subject, be it politics, religion and art for examples, is not necessarily satirical because the subject itself is often a subject of satire. Nor is humour using satiric tools of irony, parody or sarcasm always meant in a satirical sense. [continues]
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