How is irony used in A Midsummer's Night Dream?

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Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses all three types of irony.

Verbal irony occurs when words mean the opposite of what is intended. In the quote below, Bottom speaks with unintentional verbal irony. In the fairies' forest, his head has been turned into an ass's head, and his comrades respond with fear and wonder at the change. Bottom thinks their responses, which are real, are a joke ("knavery"). When he says they are trying to make an ass (fool) of him, the statement is ironic because he literally is an ass, at least from the neck up, as he speaks:

I see their knavery: this is to...

(The entire section contains 326 words.)

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