This list is meant to assist, not intimidate. Use it as a touchstone for important concepts and vocabulary that we will cover during the term. Vocabulary terms are listed alphabetically.
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Satire is the art of bringing attention to a particular problem, fault or issue by blending criticism with humor. Current events are a prime target of satire because most people who write or perform satire are trying to raise awareness as well as entertain. Modern satire about current events can be found on television shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show or found in publications such as The Onion and political cartoons in The New Yorker. Knowing current events, knowing your audience, and researching all angles of the current event will help you write quality satire.
In the history of theatre there has always been a conflict between engagement and disengagement on politics and relevant issue, between satire and grotesque on one side, and jest with teasing on the other.  Max Eastman defined the spectrum of satire in terms of "degrees of biting", as ranging from satire proper at the hot-end, and "kidding" at the violet-end; Eastman adopted the term kidding to denote what is just satirical in form, but is not really firing at the target.  Nobel laureate satirical playwright Dario Fo pointed out the difference between satire and teasing ( sfottò ).  Teasing is the reactionary side of the comic ; it limits itself to a shallow parody of physical appearance. The side-effect of teasing is that it humanizes and draws sympathy for the powerful individual towards which it is directed. Satire instead uses the comic to go against power and its oppressions, has a subversive character, and a moral dimension which draws judgement against its targets.     Fo formulated an operational criterion to tell real satire from sfottò , saying that real satire arouses an outraged and violent reaction, and that the more they try to stop you, the better is the job you are doing.  Fo contends that, historically, people in positions of power have welcomed and encouraged good-humoured buffoonery, while modern day people in positions of power have tried to censor, ostracize and repress satire.