Irony is a literary, dramatic or poetic device in which something other than the expected is said or happens.
- It can be verbal irony, occurring in what someone says, for example, "I like the kitten ... that I'm allergic to...."
- It can be in a situation that occurs. For example: He was looking for his glasses; he was glad they were found on the cushion the girl was sitting on.
- It can be dramatic irony in which some know information that others do not: For example in Hamlet, the audience and Horatio know Hamlet is acting like he is mad though other characters do not.
Verbal irony: "A little more than kin, and less than kind." (verbal play on kin/son and kind/same). Act I, scene ii.
Situational irony: The swords being switched and Laertes dying by the poison intended for Hamlet. Act V, scene ii.
Dramatic irony: We and Horatio know that Hamlet is going to act crazy while Claudius, Gertrude, Polonius, and Ophelia are left trying to figure out what is happening with the much changed Hamlet. Act I, scene i.