What is irony? people float the expression \"how ironic\" in casual conversation there is no a true expertise of what irony really is. Let’s give a confront to irony with instances from Shakespeare, the King the Irony.

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Definition of Irony

Irony is a literary machine used come depict a character’s indigenous or situation that is intentionally various in definition from the literal meaning one.

Let’s speak your key character is invited to a party she knows will certainly be rife with alcohol and drugs, i m sorry she abhors. Because she craves to be accepted by the popular children at the party, she responds, \"Sure, ok go. This will be fun.\" The reader knows her character means the precise opposite, the in reality, she will be miserable. The wording is positive, yet the literal meaning is negative.


Types that Irony

There space three varieties of irony you can use in her stories.

1. Linguistic Irony

The over example illustrates linguistic irony. A character states something that method something different from what they appear to be saying. Once you say, \"Lovely work we’re having\" during a hurricane, that’s linguistic irony. And also a little bit of sarcasm rolled in for great measure.

2. Situational Irony

Your leader expects something come happen, but what actually happens is rather different. Because that example, say a family plans an elaborate surprise party for their mother’s 50th birthday. However they obtain the day wrong, and also they discover out she’s only 48. Mother is not surprised, no one is she really pleased.

3. Dramatic Irony

Your readers are an ext aware the what is happening in your story 보다 your personalities are. The summary of dramatic irony is the audience screaming at a fear movie’s main character to not enter the house because they recognize the killer is hiding there. And yet, movie after movie, those silly human being keep opened the door and also going inside.

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Examples of Irony

Let’s look in ~ a few of Shakespeare’s plays because that excellent examples of irony. (Spoiler alert: key plot points for each play are revealed below!)

Julius Caesar

In Julius Caesar, Shakespeare offers irony to produce Mark Antony\"s cutting funeral oration: \"Yet Brutus says he was ambitious; and also Brutus is an honorable man.\" The recurring assertion the Brutus\" honesty against a backdrop of half-truths serves to weaken Brutus\" word in the minds of the assembled friends, Romans and countrymen.

Romeo and Juliet

This Shakespeare play is full of irony. One example of verbal irony is once Juliet tells her mother, \"I will not marry yet; and, when I do, ns swear it shall it is in Romeo, whom you know I hate, quite than Paris.\" yet readers recognize that Juliet is planning to marry Romeo that really night. She throwing shade at her mom.

The play itself is a kind of situational irony. Girlfriend think the a love story, yet it’s actually a tragedy. The 2 lovers end up dead in the end—certainly no a usual love story.

Finally, when Romeo finds Juliet in a drugged sleep, he’s specific she’s dead. So what does he do? He death himself. Later, when Juliet wakes up, she finds her lover dead. Therefore what walk she do? She commits suicide. It’s ironic that people think the Romeo and Juliet together a romance as soon as it’s therefore obviously a tragedy.


In this Shakespeare play, Othello believes the Desdemona has cheated top top him, thanks to Iago that lies come Othello around her claimed infidelity. Readers and also audience members know that Desdemona has been true to Othello, a perfect example of dramatic irony.


Another an excellent play full of irony, Macbeth to plan to killing Duncan, all the while pretending loyalty to him. Duncan has no clear notion of Macbeth’s plans, yet the audience knows what Macbeth is planning. Shakespeare makes the audience desire to warn Duncan the what lock know, a good example the dramatic irony.

Macbeth kills Duncan to get the throne and its power, however he quickly realizes he should keep murdering rather to preserve his power. In the end, the people despise Macbeth and also he despises them.


One of the an ext famous Shakespeare quotes, Hamlet’s very first words in the beat are, \"A little much more than kin, and also less 보다 kind.\" he is referring to his uncle, who is now his stepfather. Therefore he’s unexpectedly a little much more than kin due to the fact that he is connected two ways, yet he’s much less than kind because he is the one who killed Hamlet’s father. Irony in ~ its best.


How to use Irony in Your next Manuscript

Irony ratchets up the tension. Once your readers recognize the truth, yet the main character is oblivious, you enhance the suspension and dread.

It might be supplied to increase the romantic tension as soon as there’s a basic misunderstanding between the 2 love interests that keeps lock apart. Say her male protagonist meets one attractive travel agent in a restaurant to arrangement a weekend getaway so he can propose to the woman lead. Yet your woman protagonist look at him through this various other woman and thinks he is cheating. Her readers understand the truth, but you have the pair split up due to the fact that of an ethical misunderstanding.

You deserve to use irony to set up a comedic case or to create empathy in between your characters. It have the right to be one ironic instance when one character believes her long-dead husband is speaking to her from beyond the grave. But your readers know it’s yes, really the postman leaving tiny notes in her mailbox.

Or usage irony to make a last statement around your story’s theme. Consider how the orgasm in Star Wars is Darth Vader saying, \"Luke, ns am your father.\" Oh, the irony.

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Finally, create your plot twists and also surprises around irony. Whenever you can turn your story’s plot ~ above its head around an ironic situation, you’ll grab readers’ attention. As soon as you compel your readers to scream, \"Don’t walk in the room,\" you recognize you’ve gained them specifically where you desire them.