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What is Dramatic irony?

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dania123 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 25, 2012 at 1:36 AM via web

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What is Dramatic irony?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 25, 2012 at 2:39 AM (Answer #1)

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There are actually three types of irony: dramatic, situational, and verbal.

Dramatic irony is when the reader or the audience knows something that the characters don't know. For example, the audience might know that someone is waiting around a corner with a knife when a character walks in, but that character doesn't know that he's about to be attacked.

Situational irony is when something unexpected happens after full efforts to avoid or create the situation occur.  For example, if a bride purposely plans to have her reception indoors because there is a chance of rain on her wedding day, but then the sprinkler system in the reception center goes off and everyone gets wet anyway, that's situational irony.

Verbal irony can sometimes be taken as sarcastic, but it is when a name or adescriptong of someone or something shows the opposite of what is real. For example, a boyfriend calls his girlfriend "Tubby" when she is really skinny.

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bwarren3 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 25, 2012 at 2:39 AM (Answer #3)

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Dramatic irony is established when the audience knows information that a character in a play, story, etc. does not.  For example, in Romeo and Juliet, the audience knows that Juliet is not dead when Romeo comes to her tomb, but he does not and kills himself, thus creating irony.  Another example can be found in Othello. The audience knows from the beginning that Iago is plotting against Othello, but he remains unaware of Iago's treachery until the end of play when he realizes that he killed his wife based on false accusations created by Iago.


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