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What are examples of verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony in Hamlet?

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shaytay | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 28, 2012 at 12:33 AM via web

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What are examples of verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony in Hamlet?

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 20, 2010 at 9:34 PM (Answer #3)

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Verbal -- "I am too much in the son."  Act 1 Scene 2

Situational -- the swords being switched and Laertes dying by the poison intended for Hamlet.

Dramatic -- We know that Hamlet is going to act crazy, but the Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, and Ophelia are trying to figure out what is going on with the much changed Hamlet.

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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 29, 2012 at 12:24 AM (Answer #5)

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Perhaps the most ironic moment in the play, if we can say that, is the play-within-the-play, which is an example of dramatic irony taken to an extreme.

The action of the play is understood by Hamlet and the audience to be a synopsis of the murder that precedes the action of the play. Yet the players and the court, at first anyway, believe the play-within-the-play to be pure entertainment.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 29, 2012 at 4:36 AM (Answer #6)

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Dramatic irony is when we know something as an audience that the characters do not know.  For example, we may know that Hamlet is crazy and not really talking to a ghost.  But do we?  We know what is happening to everyone everywhere, but each character does not.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 29, 2012 at 11:13 AM (Answer #7)

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Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that Hamlet engages in so much self debate and deliberates so long in order to form a plan of action that is best for Denmark only to die an untimely death.

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adriana95 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted February 29, 2012 at 6:31 PM (Answer #8)

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One part of irony that I know in the play is when it says to be or not to be that is the question as he himself doesnt really choose to follow the right path and makes him end up in a difficult situation.

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wanderista | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted March 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM (Answer #9)

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A good example of irony is the fact that the play is a play within a play! Shakespearean plays are great example of irony in literature!

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vilarix | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted March 9, 2012 at 3:18 PM (Answer #11)

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An example of irony in Hamlet: Hamlet always criticize people around him but fails following his own ideas.

 

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swatishrivastav | Salutatorian

Posted March 20, 2012 at 1:53 AM (Answer #13)

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The first good irony comes in the first two lines. When Claudius says that it is "sweet and commendable" to give this duty, he's praising Hamlet for something that will eventually kill him.

My favorite, though, is when Claudius says to "think of us as a father." Would a father kill your real father? Not likely.

Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is full of talk about death, dead bodies, murder, suicide, disease, graves, and so forth. And there is no traditional Christian comfort or promise of eventual justice or happiness for the good people. But the message is ultimately one of hope. You can be a hero.

Am not a real expert with Shakespear, but in "Twelfth Night," you have a good example of how he turn things around in an instant with "If music be the food of love, play on. Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die." Just for fun, you should read this at the second link below. Read through the first scene.

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kushshah | Student, Grade 10 | Honors

Posted April 19, 2012 at 2:29 PM (Answer #16)

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Verbal -- "I am too much in the son." Act 1 Scene 2

Situational -- the swords being switched and Laertes dying by the poison intended for Hamlet.

Dramatic -- We know that Hamlet is going to act crazy, but the Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, and Ophelia are trying to figure out what is going on with the much changed Hamlet.

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