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How is “dramatic irony” typically used in drama, particularly in tragedy?

3 Mins read

Dramatic irony is used by characters to extend the meaning hidden in dialogue or actions, because the audience perceives that there’s more happening than characters. This knowledge can create an environment of thriller, and even comedy. Those characters who’re unaware of the underlying truth of the scenario appear to be unsuitable or stupid, as they have no idea about the true intentions of the opposite characters, or the actual events that occurred within the plot. Their misunderstanding can result in more conflict and a way of tragedy for the audience or the reader.

Dramatic irony, a literary device by which the audience’s or reader’s understanding of events or people in a work surpasses that of its characters. Dramatic irony is a type of irony that’s expressed via a work’s structure: an audience’s awareness of the situation by which a work’s characters exist differs considerably from that of the characters’, and the phrases and actions of the characters subsequently tackle a unique—usually contradictory—meaning for the audience than they’ve for the work’s characters. Dramatic irony is most frequently related to the theatre, however examples of it may be found throughout the literary and performing arts.

Dramatic irony is frequently contrasted with verbal irony. The former is embedded in a work’s structure, whereas the latter sometimes operates on the degree of words and sentences which are understood by audiences or readers to carry meanings completely different from the words themselves when interpreted actually. a simple examine of a character and visually designing it in essentially the most interesting way for the audience. 

Dramatic irony happens when the audience is aware of one thing that is occurring in a situation however the characters are unaware of what’s going on. Because of this understanding, the words and actions of the characters present a different meaning. This can create intense suspense or humor. Tension develops between what the viewers and characters know is going on.

There are many examples of dramatic irony in literature, movies, tv and fairy tales. You can use it in your own tales too. According to the question Antigone examples include:

Irony, defined as the reversal of expectations, is found all through Sophocles’ drama, “Antigone,” which begins with three situational, ironic plot factors. The work can be full of dramatic irony, notably within the dialogue of Creon talking to only about anybody, and it even manages verbal irony, which is most evident in its closing scenes. Sophocles might have felt, within the words of Stephen King, that just a little irony is good for your blood.

Situational Irony

In the play’s opening, Antigone grieves over Creon’s decree: That her brother Polyneices, who died fighting against Thebes, be left to rot, whereas her other brother Eteocles, the town’s hero, be granted sacred burial. The irony of withholding burial from one brother for political causes shouldn’t be lost on the princess, who plots to avoid Creon’s will and conduct Polyneices’ funeral: “I owe a longer allegiance to the dead than the living.” A princess defies a king, which begets a 3rd situational irony: A woman makes right what males dare not.

Read About: The Absence of Personal Identity in Auden’s “The Unknown Citizen”

Dramatic Irony, Presented Dramatically

Dramatic irony happens when a character speaks unawares. Creon demonstrates this in abundance. When he learns of Antigone’s burial of Polyneices, he cries in fury, “Verily, I am no man, she is the man.” Meant for sarcasm, the saying is completely true: Antigone has dared to right a mistake Creon created. When the blind Teiresias precisely predicts Thebes’ destruction, Creon once more tries for sarcasm: “The wisest fall with shameful fall, when they clothe shameful thoughts in fair words.” Blinded by pleasure, Creon doesn’t understand he’s describing himself.

Verbal Ironies Abound

The kingdom falls aside, and every new disaster is accompanied by verbal irony. Antigone, condemned to living burial, compares it to her lost wedding with Haemon, Creon’s son: “the bride… whom the lord of the Dark Lake shall wed.” Haemon kills himself, dying in dead Antigone’s arms, and the Chorus redoubles the irony: “he hath won his nuptial rites… in the hall of Death.” Creon, his kingdom shattered, re-echoes all: “let it appear, that fairest of fates, that brings my last day!” Sophocles produces three horrendous climaxes, each with a dying wish.

The Colossal Irony

To summarize, the play is to evince a colossal irony, emphasized in Creon’s warning to Haemon: “Better to fall from power, if we must, by a man’s hand; then we should not be called weaker than a woman.” The colossal irony is that the mightiest of kingdoms lies fallen due to the one deed of a frail woman, now dead. A memory, and a female one, brings to destroy the glory of Greece.

Dramatic irony occurs when the audience is aware of one thing that is occurring in a situation however the characters are unaware of what’s going on. Because of this understanding, the words and actions of the characters take on a distinct meaning. This can create intense suspense or humor.

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