Satirical Poetry Explained!

–          Satires can be in any literary form, for example, prose narrative, drama or a mixture of different forms.

–          It ridicules and mocks individuals, institutions and whole societies. It may attack, vice or folly.

–          The four questions to ask of satirical writing are – who or what is the target? What role does the satirist play? What is the satirist’s tone? What position is the reader invited to have?

–          It is to be said that satirists often tread a fine line between amusing their readers and alienating them.

–          Verse Satire – this is always a long poem (usually several hundred lines in length) and usually addresses a major subject such as politics or religion.

–          Satirical Poem – this is usually much shorter and its target is more limited.

–          Horatian Satire – this is coined after the Roman poet, Horace and it uses gentle mockery.

–          Juvenalian Satire – this is names after the Roman poet, Juvenal. This uses harsher mocking and is often bitter and cutting.

–          Epigram – this is often satirical. It is a short poem with a witty turn of thought.

–          Epistle – this is a satire written in the form of a letter.

I hope this short summary has helped to explain satirical poetry. If you have any questions please feel free to post below and I will answer them for you!


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