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Difference Between Irony and Satire

irony_speed_limitIrony vs Satire

The beauty of literary works of art is that through the correct play of words, literary masters are able to convey certain emotions and feelings with regards to certain situations and events. In many instances, what you see is not necessarily exactly what the author wishes to convey, and as such, one would really need to take some time to carefully analyze the work, in order to really get into the heart of the message of the entire literary masterpiece.

The beauty of works of literature is mainly due to the different types of figurative forms of speech that is used by many of the literary masters. Irony is one of the popular figurative forms of speeches. This is primarily because of its use in contemporary forms of literature, and even in performance arts. Since irony is commonly used in satires, many people would often equate the two together. While it is true that the use of irony is a vital and integral component in satires, irony and satire are two completely different literary terms.

Irony, as mentioned earlier, is a figure of speech. It is derived from the Greek word ‘eirōneía’, which means hypocrisy and deception. Irony is commonly used as a literary technique in order to bring emphasis to a particular truth. This is commonly done through the deliberate use of language that is contrary to the truth. By doing this, the use of irony is able to expose certain truths, to which the general public has remained ignorant.

On the other hand, satire is a literary form, or genre, which is commonly used through graphic arts or performance. Through the use of irony, as well as a number of other devices, such as ridicule and derision, a satire brings to light a particular issue or truth that is commonly observed in society, where changes must be made. Although these are the devices that are used in satire, it is presented in a comical manner through the careful use of wit and play of words or images, making it light-hearted on the part of the audience. As such, satires are found in many propaganda artistic forms, such as plays, commentaries and even editorial cartoons.


1. Both irony and satires are literary terms that are commonly used to portray something that is contrary to the truth, in order for this to be exposed to the general public for the purpose of awareness and change.

2. Irony is a figure of speech that portrays the contrary of the truth about something through the careful play of words and wit. Satire is a literary form, or genre, that is commonly used through the use of graphic arts, or in the form of a performance.

3. Irony is a figure of speech, therefore it is limited to written and spoken forms. On the other hand, since satire is a literary form, it can be presented in a variety of different methods, ranging from literary pieces, such as commentaries, to performances, and even in illustrations accompanying editorials.

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  1. Um correct me if i’m wrong but I don’t believe irony pertains just to written (or spoken) form due to the fact that you can have situational irony that can be introduced without any literature what so ever. I’m pretty sure irony is a component of satire, and satire can be presented in written form, an image, or performing arts. Which brings me to my conclusion. Why is this article about the difference between irony and satire even on the internet, when irony is part of what makes up satire. Please don’t post things up on the internet like this because real people could actually be looking for answers and read your thing here and actually believe it.

  2. @author: irony is a LITERARY DEVICE. you’re thinking of sarcasm.

  3. It is too bad the author of this piece does not seem to know that “in regards to” is incorrect usage. she or he should have written “with regard to…”

    • It is too bad the author of this response (Karen) does not seem to know that a new sentence normally starts with a capital letter.

  4. I wish there was a course or a book that would have a list of societal or individual problems/issues and then give: 1) a sarcastic response to the that issue. 2) a satirical response. 3) an ironic response. If you know of one, please let me know.

  5. Satire is a genre while irony is a literary device,a technique. A satirist may use irony or any other device such as ridicule to convey his/her message.

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