How is Juliet's meeting with Paris in Friar Lawrence's cell an example of dramatic irony?

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When Juliet runs into her intended husband, Count Paris, in Friar Lawrence's cell, Paris believes that she has come to "make confession" and be absolved before she marries him. Little does he know that she has actually come to the Friar's cell out of desperation, uncertain what to do now that she is secretly married to Romeo Montague, a fact unknown to any but the Friar, and is being forced to marry Paris. She is ready to kill herself, committing what would be, for them, another sin, not to be absolved of any she has already committed so that she can be a pure bride. Paris has no idea. He even tells her, "Do not deny to him that you love me." He believes, then, that Juliet does love him, not knowing that she does not love him at all but, rather, that she loves Romeo, her true husband. When Paris remarks on her face which is "much abused with tears," he believes they are for her slain cousin, Tybalt, but they are actually for her banished husband. Moreover, he tells her that her "face is [his]" because he will soon be her husband, and she agrees that her face is "not [her] own." However, she means that it belongs to Romeo, not Paris. All of these constitute examples of dramatic irony because Paris is unaware of so much!

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Dramatic irony in a literary work occurs when the reader or audience is aware of something that at least one of the characters in a scene does not know. Dramatic irony is a key element throughout Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Because of the feud between the Montagues and Capulets, when Romeo and Juliet fall in love, the couple has to hide their relationship. Up until the very end, the only other characters in the play who know about the love between the two are the Nurse and Friar Lawrence. The audience, of course, also knows the situation.

In Act III, Scene 5, Lord Capulet agrees to marry Juliet to Count Paris. Capulet is unaware that his daughter has secretly married Romeo. At the end of that scene Juliet defies her father and refuses to marry Paris. She then seeks counsel from Friar Lawrence.

In Act IV, Scene 1, Paris has come to Friar Lawrence's cell to ask him to perform the marriage. Count Paris does not know that the Friar has married Juliet to Romeo only the day before. When Juliet shows up she tries to sidestep the issue with Paris. Paris, not knowing her true feelings, calls her his "wife" and his "love."

Unfortunately for Paris, he never knows the truth about Juliet, as he is killed when he confronts Romeo at Juliet's tomb in Act V.

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