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Find 2 examples of verbal irony, 2 examples of dramatic irony, and 2 examples of...

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houstondog | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 2, 2008 at 7:33 AM via web

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Find 2 examples of verbal irony, 2 examples of dramatic irony, and 2 examples of situational irony in "The Scarlet Letter".

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sdchumley | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 24, 2008 at 12:40 PM (Answer #1)

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Verbal  and dramatic irony:  From Chapter III, Governor Bellingham tells Dimmesdale, ". . . the responsibility of this woman's soul lies greatly with you."

Verbal irony: From Chapter IV, Chillingworth tells Hester, "Think not that I shall interfere with Heaven's own method of retribution." Chillingworth implies he will let God and Heaven handle all retribution, yet he sets out to destroy Dimmesdale himself.

Situational Irony:  From Chapter II, the townspeople have created a situation in which they believe Hester will feel ashamed by wearing the A and having to stand on the scaffold, yet she has a "marked dignity and force of character" and holds her baby "with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townsepeople and neighbors."

Situational Irony: From Chapter XI, the townspeople worship Dimmesdale as a pristine role model "[deeming] the young clergyman a miracle of holiness" when he actually has committed an immoral act.

Dramatic Irony: The audience knows Dimmesdale is Hester's father long before anyone else does, and the audience knows Chillingsworth should not be trusted long before Dimmesdale figures that out.

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