Analyzing Satire in The Simpsons and Other Forms of Popular Culture

In this lesson, students will become familiar with the literary device of satire through The Simpsons, they will analyze the elements of satire present in The Simpsons, and they will research, analyze, and write about satire as a literary device present in other examples of popular culture.


Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

Explain what satire is and the characteristics of satire to students. Satire uses humor, exaggeration, and ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary political, social, and cultural issues. Satire has been used widely throughout literary history, from the work of Gaius Lucilius and Aristophanes to Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken. There are also plenty of contemporary writers and artists who use satire in their works.

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Lesson tags: Eleventh, English, Pop Culture, Social Studies, Television, Tenth, Twelfth

Niall Brennan

Niall Brennan Niall is a professor in the Department of Communication at Fairfield University and holds a Ph.D in Media and Communications. Niall is a well-traveled educator and has taught across the globe from Brazil to the UK. He has also worked in publishing, advertising and information systems in New York City. When he’s not teaching, Niall enjoys cooking, photography and spending time with his best friend and dog, Harry.