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What is an example of dramatic irony in Fahrenheit 451?

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kadva | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted July 27, 2011 at 1:57 AM via web

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What is an example of dramatic irony in Fahrenheit 451?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 27, 2011 at 10:39 PM (Answer #1)

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Let us remind ourselves of the definition of dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is a form of irony when one character and/or the audience knows something that other characters do not. The classic example is of course in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, where at the end, the audience knows that Juliet is just about to come to life again, but Romeo does not, and he kills himself just before it happens.

Thinking about this concept, it is clear that one example of dramatic irony could concern Mildred's attempt to kill herself and then her subsequent unawareness of this fact and what was done to save her the next morning. When Montag asks Mildred about last night, she responds:

"What? Did we have a wild party or something? Feel like I've a hangover. God, I'm hungry. Who was here?"

Her inability to remember what happened is an excellent example of dramatic irony, as is her assumption that they had a party and she is suffering from a hangover rather than the after-effects of having her life saved from her suicide attempt.

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