Mockery or mocking is the act of insulting or making light of a person or other thing, sometimes merely by taunting, but often by making a caricature, purporting to engage in imitation in a way that highlights unflattering characteristics. Mockery can be done in a lighthearted and gentle way, but can also be cruel and hateful. Mockery appears to be unique to humans, and serves a number of psychological functions, such as reducing the perceived imbalance of power between authority figures and common people. Examples of mockery can be found in literature and the arts.
- Fielding Mellish: I object, Your Honor! This trial is a travesty! It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham!
- Freedom means that you have the right to do a certain thing; but if you have no opportunity to do it, that right is sheer mockery.
- Though I were gifted with an angel's tongue,
And voice like that with which the prophets sung,
Yet if mild charity were not within,
'T were all an impious mockery and sin.
- Lucretia Maria Davidson, Charity (c. 1825).
- A delusion, a mockery, and a snare.
- Thomas Denman, 1st Baron Denman, O'Connell v. The Queen (1841), 11 Clark and Finnelly Reports.
- And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances and the public show.
- Alexander Pope, To the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady, line 57.
- It has taken us centuries of thought and mockery to shake the medieval system; thought and mockery here and now are required to prevent the mechanists from building another.
- Dora Russell, The Right to Be Happy (1927), preface.
- Misery makes sport to mock itself.
- O that I were a mockery king of snow,
Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
To melt myself away in water drops!
- Perséverance, dear my lord,
Keeps honour bright: to have done, is to hang
Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
In monumental mockery.
- The spirit, Sir, is one of mockery.
- Robert Louis Stevenson, "The Suicide Club", New Arabian Nights (1882).