Discuss how dramatic irony plays out in "Roman Fever." What is the full story that neither Mrs. Slade nor Mrs. Ansley knows? What prompts the two ladies to reveal what they know to each other?

The story begins with Grace, who is a friend of Alida Slade, sitting in a restaurant. She tells the reader about her life and how she came to be at the restaurant. Then the story describes Grace's past friendship with Alida and how she had just recently come into money after her husband died. As Grace sits in the restaurant waiting for her friend, Paul Maitland, to arrive from England, Mrs. Ansley enters the restaurant and begins to talk with some friends that were already there. Mrs. Ansley is another friend of Alida's as well as Grace's. As they are talking, an older man enters the restaurant and all of the women turn their heads to look at him, including Mrs.

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Dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows what characters in a work of literature do not. "Roman Fever" does not precisely show dramatic irony, as the audience learns surprising pieces of news at the same time as the characters do (although there is foreshadowing ), but the story...

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Dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows what characters in a work of literature do not. "Roman Fever" does not precisely show dramatic irony, as the audience learns surprising pieces of news at the same time as the characters do (although there is foreshadowing), but the story does hinge on each character's missing information.

Grace Ansley and Alida Slade have been superficial friends (or what we might call frenemies) for many years. Grace learns from Alida that Alida long ago penned her a letter, supposedly from Delphin, the man Alida married, to Grace. Alida knew Grace was attracted to her boyfriend Delphin (later her husband) and wanted her to experience a disappointment, so that she would stay away from Delphin. Therefore, Alida, posing as Delphin in the letter, set up a meeting with Grace in the Coliseum. Alida also hoped Grace might get Roman fever while waiting in vain at the Coliseum.

Grace had never known before that Alida was the one who wrote the letter. However, Grace reveals her own secret surprise. She had written back to Delphin about meeting. Therefore, he had arrived and they did meet. Moreover, Barbara, the lovely and dashing daughter Alida envies, is the product of their romantic encounter.

One prompt for the revelations is that both women have recently been widowed. But more to the point, Alida, who has always been jealous of Grace, is now jealous about how much more vibrant Barbara is than her own daughter. Alida seems to act from a desire to even the score, assert her superiority, and bring Grace down. As we see, this plan backfires, just as her plan did years ago. In this story, malice doesn't pay.

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Dramatic irony unfolds in Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever” as Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade discuss their past. Visiting Rome with their daughters, Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade look out on the scenery and begin to reflect individually on their lives. Dramatic irony occurs as the reader becomes aware of their personal thoughts, learning that Mrs. Slade is very jealous of Mrs. Ansley, while Mrs. Ansley does not think highly of Mrs. Slade. The reader also learns that Mrs. Slade wishes that her daughter, Jenny, was more like Mrs. Ansley’s daughter, Babs.

Prompted by the scenery of Rome and thoughts of their daughters, Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Slade begin to reflect on their own experiences in Rome as young women, and it is due to this reflection that the women reveal what they know to each other. Mrs. Slade states that she knew at that time that Mrs. Ansley was in love with her beau, Delphin. She further divulges that she wrote a letter to Mrs. Ansley in Delphin’s name, claiming that Delphin wanted a secret rendezvous at the Colosseum. Shocked by this revelation, Mrs. Ansley in turn tells Mrs. Slade that she was not disappointed, that Delphin did meet her there after all. Mrs. Slade claims victory because she was the one Delphin married, but Mrs. Ansley counters, stating that her daughter, Babs, is Delphin’s child. Ironically, then, both women were keeping a secret from each other, each thinking that she was the only one with a secret and knowledge of the full truth, but both women were deceived.

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In Edith Wharton's "Roman Fever," the two women have secrets they've kept from each other for years. The dramatic irony is that the reader has access to each woman's inner thoughts, so we know that they are keeping secrets before the characters reveal it to each other. This dramatic irony amplifies the story's tension and makes the ending much more powerful.

The full story the women don't know is that Delphin did not write the letter Mrs. Ansley has held so dear all of those years; also, Mrs. Slade didn't know that her husband (then fiancé) actually met Mrs. Ansley at the Colosseum and she became pregnant with his child.

The women reveal this information to each other because they have kept it secret for so long and can't keep it in anymore. They are dying to say what they know and put the other in her place. So, the urge to tell comes from a place of pettiness and revenge.

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