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The term "parody" is of Greek origin and means "subsidiary or mock song" (Cuddon, 640). J. Paul Hunter defines parody as "a work that imitates another work for comic effect by exaggerating the style and changing the content of the original" (A52). Cuddon defines parody as "the imitative use of the words, style, attitude, tone and ideas of an author in such a way as to make them ridiculous" (640). A couple of examples of modern day parodies are the movies, Austin Powers:International Man of Mystery, which parodies the original James Bond movies from the mid to late 1900's and the movie Spaceballs, which pokes fun at the Star Wars trilogy from the 1970's. Some examples of earlier literature parodists are "the Greek dramatist Aristophanes" (Baldick, 185) who parodied "the styles of Aeschylus and Euripides in The Frogs (Baldick, 185) and Cervantes who wrote Don Quixote which is an exaggerated tale of medieval romance.

"Parody is difficult to accomplish well. There has to be a subtle balance between close resemblance to the 'original' and a deliberate distortion of its principal characteristics" (Cuddon, 640).

Literary Terms

Works Cited

  • Baldick, Chris. Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Cuddon, J. A. Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory. Penguin Books, Ltd., 1998.
  • Hunter, J. Paul. The Norton Introduction to Poetry.7th edition. New York:W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.