Sunday, May 03, 2009

Humor, Satire and Criticism

At Suite 101, an article by Cicely A. Richard explains satire as a literary device capable of enriching readers' understanding of the foibles inherent in the prevailing views of their time:

In the poem "Don Juan," George Gordon Lord Byron (pictured, right) deviated from the common perception of the notorious lover, Don Juan, and paints him as a man on whom women prey. Additionally, he takes a satiric look at politics and the arts of his time. In this poem, Byron illustrates the effectiveness of satire as a literary device.

...

Satire is an effective way to enlighten people about things that may otherwise be taken for granted. It is successful because the humor makes people take a lighter look at serious matters. So, when others finish absorbing the words of the
satirist, they begin to think about the information presented to them. For that reason, Byron's use of satire is instrumental the success of "Don Juan."

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