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What are some examples of irony in Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet?It can be situational,...

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leyra_santiago | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM via web

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What are some examples of irony in Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet?

It can be situational, verbal and dramatic.

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

Posted February 2, 2012 at 2:23 PM (Answer #1)

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The biggest irony of this Act is the way in which there is a gap between the knowledge of the two principal actors and the audience in knowing that Romeo and Juliet are now married and the rest of the characters, who carry on believing that they are not married and show every evidence of still being dominated by the feud between these two noble houses. Let us just take one example to demonstrate what I am talking about.

In Act III scene 5, Lady Capulet interprets Juliet's sadness at just having left Romeo as continued grief over the death of her cousin, Tybalt. This is one example of irony, as we know that actually Juliet is sad about the way that Romeo has had to leave her for his exile. This irony continues, however, as Lady Capulet refers to Romeo in the following way:

Well, girl, thou weep'st not somuch for his death

As that the villain lives which slaughtered him.

Lady Capulet goes on to say that Juliet is weeping for Romeo because he is still alive and has not faced punishment, but there is tremendous irony in what she says, because, actually, she is right. Juliet does weep for Romeo, though not for the reasons that Lady Capulet believes at all. Such irony dominates this act. See if you can find other examples yourself now.

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