What is Irony? - situational, verbal, and dramatic forms

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What is Irony What is irony? It is hard to discuss irony without first discussing the 3 types of irony, and these are situational, verbal, and dramatic irony. Each is similar yet different from the others in that all has something that is unexpected happen, but each will carry these unexpected happenings out in a different manner. Verbal irony creates something unexpected through the use of speech. Situational irony uses action or a situation to create the same effect. Dramatic irony has the audience or reader know the unexpected, yet the character itself has no clue of what will happen. Irony presents itself everywhere in life. The ones that are the least unexpected are the ones that makes us laugh, cry, or smile the most.


What about a sitcom or a comedic movie that uses speech but also uses other aspects to produce an ironic effect? These use verbal irony, but also in combination with another type of irony. Actions or situations that create an ironic effect are called situational ironies. By having a character carry out an action that is not usual for that character creates an ironic moment. Many characters may participate and create a situation that is not expected to them or to the viewer. Cartoon strips provide examples of situational ironies because usually the cartoon characters will attempt to perform something but ends up not being able to do what it wants.


Tragedies usually have dramatic ironies in them such as Romeo and Juliet or the story of Anne Frank. When reading the diary of Anne Frank the reader already knows the outcome of Anne Frank's life. This knowledge creates emotional attachments to the story and produces sadness and sorrow. Ironies come in different forms and each brings out different emotions in different ways. Although the examples of ironies given were of comedy and tragedy there are also other emotions that ironies generate. Life has many examples irony and because irony is grouped into three generalized types, there is room possible for a variety of different kinds of verbal, situational or dramatic irony. So take some time and examine the many ironies that surrounds life and maybe life will be a little bit more interesting for you.

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