What is an example of dramatic, situational, and verbal irony in "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl?

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Dramatic irony occurs when the audience or reader of a work of literature knows something the characters don't. In the case of "Lamb to the Slaughter," the audience knows what the police do not: that Mary clobbered and killed her husband with the leg of lamb that they are eating for dinner.

Situational irony happens when events don't work as expected in a story. In this case, Mary awaits her husband Patrick eagerly and happily at the start of the story and thinks of nothing more than how she can dote on him. She is heavily pregnant and expects to have a happy family and domestic life with her husband and new baby as the future unfolds. Ironically, however, her husband tells her is going to divorce her. This situation is the opposite of her life expectations.

There are a number of instances of verbal irony in the story. Verbal irony occurs when a statement means the opposite of what people think. One example is when Mary says "It'd be a favor to me if you'd eat it [the lamb] up." The officers think it is because it is what her husband would have wanted and because she doesn't wish the meal to go to waste. Ironically, however, it's a favor to her for reasons they never suspect: they are eating the murder weapon.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on October 29, 2019
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There are many examples of irony in "Lamb to the Slaughter," but the penultimate line of the story is exceptional in providing examples of situational, dramatic and (arguably) verbal irony all at once. The line is:

Probably right under our very noses. What you think, Jack?

The situational irony here could scarcely be stronger: the policemen are eating the evidence for which they have been searching so assiduously. The dramatic irony is similarly strong: the reader knows how Mary's husband was killed and shares her amusement at the unintentional aptness of the policeman's comment.

Finally, there is an unusual variety of verbal irony in the phrase "right under our very noses." This is not sarcasm, since the policeman does not intend to be ironic, but he uses what is intended to be a non-literal phrase with ironic exactness. When we say something is right under our noses, we mean it is in plain sight, not that it is literally immediately beneath the nose. The mouth, however, is literally beneath the nose and the officers have been chewing the murder weapon as they discuss its absence.

There are, of course, more traditional examples of verbal irony in the story, including the title, which suggests that the lamb is a sacrificial victim rather than a bludgeon.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on October 29, 2019
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I have had to edit your question down to focus on one question alone - multiple questions are not allowed under enotes regulations.

In this excellent short story the biggest kind of irony that is at work is situational irony. Consider how Mary Maloney is presented as the perfect wife in the opening paragraphs - she loves her husband deeply and waits upon him hand and foot:

She loved to luxuriate in the presence of this man, and to feel - almost as a sunbather feels the sun - that warm male glow that came out of him to her when they were alone together.

How surprising and unexpected, then, that the next minute she kills the object of her affection.

Dramatic irony is of course also present when we and Mary know that the police are actually eating the murder weapon whilst they are talking about looking for it:

"Personally I think it's right here on the premises."

"Probably right under our very noses."

Of course, the dramatic irony is that the police are right - for they are consuming it.

Lastly, verbal irony is also evident when Mary Maloney asks the policemen to do her a "small favour." Obviously, this isn't a "small favour" - it is actually a massive favour so she can commit the perfect murder and never be charged with what she has done.

Dahl is a master of irony and we can clearly see the three types of irony in operation in this excellent short story.

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