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Caricature

  • By: Sheri R. Klein
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Caricature is a term derived from the Vulgar Latin word carricare, the Italian word caricatura meaning “act of loading, burdening, or exaggerating” and that is derived from the Gaul word karros meaning “cart.” Caricatures are a genre of drawings, cartoons, and prints that include images of human faces and physiques that are grossly distorted and exaggerated for the purposes of a satirical or comic effect. While some caricatures were created for private viewing, such as during the Baroque period, most caricatures were created with the intent to be publicly viewed. The humor associated with caricature is satire, biting witticism, parody, and sarcasm and whose functions are to influence public perception about public figures or social, economic, and political events and issues.

Charles Baudelaire's essay on caricature ...

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