The most common elements of a satire are irony, sarcasm and ridicule. Satires use verse and prose to scorn, criticize or denounce human folly and vice.
Satire is a literary device used by writers to expose the corruption, foolishness or shortcomings of a person or society through humor, irony and exaggeration. Satires are often ridiculing and derisive. They are comical literary pieces used to poke fun at an individual or societal structure and bring to light mistakes that need to be corrected.
The intention of a satire is to improve humanity by placing exaggerated emphasis on foolish mistakes and belief systems. Most satire writers use fictional characters who represent real individuals in order to expose their corruption or faults. By exposing in a humorous fashion the foibles of humanity, satire writers hope to inspire people to overcome their weaknesses.
Satires can be directed at a specific person, a group of people, a country or even the entire world. Through the use of heavy irony, satire writers boldly point out the dishonesty and shortcomings of an individual or country.
Examples of satire can be found in newspapers and magazines that contain political cartoons. There are also several modern television shows that are examples of satire, such as South Park and The Daily Show. These programs target politicians and political agendas that they think are stupid and need to be addressed.