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Isn’t it Ironic?: An exploration into types of irony

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1 Isn’t it Ironic?: An exploration into types of irony
Lit. and Comp. – Ms. Whitlock

2 Verbal Irony A trope (or figure of speech) in which the intended meaning of a statement differs from the meaning that the words appear to express. Verbal irony can occur at the level of the individual word or sentence ("Nice hair, Bozo"), or it may pervade an entire text, as in Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal.”

3 Situational Irony An occasion in which the outcome is significantly different from what was expected or considered appropriate. "Situational irony, sometimes called irony of events, is most broadly defined as a situation where the outcome is incongruous with what was expected, but it is also more generally understood as a situation that includes contradictions or sharp contrasts An example would be a man who takes a step aside in order to avoid getting sprinkled by a wet dog, and falls into a swimming pool." (Lars Elleström, Divine Madness. Bucknell Univ. Press, 2002

4 Situational Irony Cont.
So no, rain on your wedding day or a traffic jam when you’re already late is NOT ironic…it’s just a bummer. Sorry Alanis

5 Dramatic Irony An occasion in a play, film, or other work in which a character's words or actions convey a meaning unperceived by the character but understood by the audience.

6 Okay, so why does this matter?
Alfred Hitchcock on Dramatic Irony "Let us suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, 'Boom!' There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the audience knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware that the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions this same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: 'You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There’s a bomb beneath you and it’s about to explode!'"

7 The Function of Irony Like all other figures of speech, Irony brings about some added meanings to a situation. Ironical statements and situations in literature develop readers’ interest. Irony makes a work of literature more intriguing and forces the readers to use their imagination and comprehend the underlying meanings of the texts. Moreover, real life is full of ironical expressions and situations. Therefore, the use of irony brings a work of literature closer to the life.

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