Phoenix Education Online

Exploring Genre - Satire


Stock: Available

Product Code: 978-1-921586-45-3

by Barbara Stanners

Satire remains one of the most powerful means of censuring human flaws and foibles on either a societal or personal level. It incorporates wide-ranging literary and media forms and can vary in tone from light-hearted ridicule to scathing condemnation.  Wrongdoing has been targeted in various ways and mediums throughout the centuries but the best satire has shown the potential to trigger positive change and reform.  Criticism can be direct or inferred but absurdity can also be mocked for its own sake. Regardless of purpose and style however, audiences are typically encouraged to see values, individuals or institutions within their world through a satiric lens. It works best when it is easily recognised and grounded in reality but it need not be political or highly moral in subject matter or focus.  Satire retains contemporary appeal and relevance because it continues to have the seductive potency to challenge, mock and expose what needs to be brought to public attention.

 The books in the ‘Exploring Genre and Style’ series provide in-depth analysis and activities to help students evaluate, interpret and articulate their understanding of representative texts. The changing face of satire over time as well as the conventions and techniques have been examined to explore the many reasons behind the enduring popularity of satire.  Recurring themes and stylistic elements are also evaluated alongside changing historical, social and literary context and shifting societal views, values and ‘norms’. The aim has been to help teachers develop student understanding, critical evaluation and the development of personal interpretation.


  • Defining Satire
  • Greek and Roman Origins
  • Satiric Style and Devices

Critical Study of Text

  • Lysistrata - Aristophanes
  • Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal – Swift
  • A Modest proposal – Swift
  • Visual Satire - William Hogarth
  • The School for Scandal –Richard Sheridan
  • Northanger Abbey-Jane Austen

20th Century Satire

  • The Importance of Being Earnest-Oscar Wilde
  • Brave New World-Aldous Huxley
  • Animal Farm and 1984 – George Orwell
  • Catch 22-Joseph Heller
  • Frontline-
  • Yes Minister-
  • Satiric Poetry

Responding And Composing Skills

  • Political Cartoons
  • Essays
  • Writing Satire

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