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  The word caricature derives from the Italian caricare, ‘to load’, also the origin of the English word ‘charge’. It means a form of artistic representation in which the normal appearance or traits of the person or institution caricatured are grotesquely exaggerated. In literature and music, caricature is often a single, if striking, effect rather than the basis for a whole work; in drama and fine art, by contrast, it can be the guiding principle of a complete composition. Nowadays, thanks especially to political cartoons and satire, we associate caricature with comedy, but—as Bosch\'s devils or Hogarth\'s rakes and whores show in art, or such creations as Shakespeare\'s Richard III, the Struldbrugs in Gulliver\'s Travels or Big Brother in 1984 do in literature—its effects can also be deeply and disturbingly serious. KMcL  



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