What Is an Example of a Parody in Literature?

An example of a parody in literature would be in William Shakespeare's Sonnet 13, which was written as a parody of typical love poems from his time period. In it, Shakespeare mocks the comparisons that poets made in their poems such as comparing their lovers lips to the red in coral or the glimmer of their lovers' eyes to the sun.

He writes, "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun / Coral is far more red than her lips' red;" to mock the poets. He continues the poem stating that none of the common cliche qualities were present in his mistress. It was a criticism as much as it was a comedic sonnet.

A parody is an imitation of a person or a genre. Artists and writers as well as genre are most often the targets. Parodies are created through exaggeration and are intended to be comedic. Many people confuse parodies with satire; however, the two are quite different. Parodies mimic their subject in order to create the funny moment whereas satire purely makes fun of the subject without worrying about imitation. Satire does not directly imitate the subject. Satire is also more of a criticism and often attempts to review and examine the faults of society.