Dramatic Irony In Macbeth

What is an example of dramatic irony in Act 1, Scene 3 or 4 of Macbeth?

 

Quick Answer

Dramatic irony occurs as the second witch addresses Macbeth as thane of Cawdor. The audience knows Macbeth has been titled the next thane of Cawdor by King Duncan in act 1, scene 2, before Macbeth knows of it himself. 


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andrewnightingale eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Dramatic irony is irony inherent in the speeches or situations in which the characters find themselves and the irony is understood by the audience, but the characters themselves are unaware thereof. Simply put, the audience knows things which the characters do not, and they act or say things without realising the irony of what they say or do.

A good example of this is when the second witch greets Macbeth thus:

All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!

Macbeth's response is:

Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
By Sinel's death I know I am thane of Glamis;
But how of Cawdor? the thane of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 799 words.)

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Angie Waters eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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user1944315 | Student

@litteacher8 is wrong as King Duncan is saying that he trusted the Thane of Cawdor but then realised that he was a traitor so that is actually a bad example of irony or dramatic irony.

faree436 | Student

Sorry it was Act 1 Scene 3 !

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