2IRONY:a mode of expression, through words [verbal irony] or events [irony of situation], conveying a reality different from and usually opposite to appearance or expectationThe ability to detect irony is sometimes heralded as a test of intelligence and sophistication
3Techniques for creating irony: say the opposite of what one meanscreate a reversal between expectation and its fulfillmentgive the audience knowledge that a character lacks
4Verbal irony:the writer’s meaning or even his attitude may be different from what he saysExample: after Ms. Hanlon gives a very hard and very unfair exam, the students proclaim as they walk out: “Have a nice weekend Mr. Rishel!”
5Situational irony:a situation in which there is an incongruity between actual circumstances and those that would seem appropriate or between what is anticipated and what actually comes to passExample: if a professional pickpocket had his own pocket picked just as he was in the act of picking someone else’s pocket
6Dramatic irony:where the audience has knowledge that gives additional meaning to a character’s wordsExample: In Oedipus the King, King Oedipus, who has unknowingly killed his father, says that he will banish his father’s killer when he finds him
7BLOOM’S DEFINITIONS OF IRONY When a writer or character says one thing and means another, often the opposite of what was explicitly statedJuxtaposition of “antithetical ideas” or ideas that are in direct opposition to one anotherMultiple, and sometimes differing, definitions of a single subjectThe imaginative ideas that spark our interests and curiosities as a reader; Remember Thoreau’s “free and wild thinking”?
8SARCASM, SATIRE, & IRONY SARCASM: cruel – intention: to cause injury SATIRE: cruel & kind – intention: to ridicule in order to create reformIRONY: simply a tool or device used in the service of creating sarcasm or satireSarcasm is cruel as a bully is cruel: it intends to give hurt. Satire is both cruel and kind, as a surgeon is cruel and kind: it gives hurt in the interest of the patient. Irony is neither cruel or kind: it is simply a device, like a bully’s fist or a surgeon’s scalpel, for performing any operation more skillfully.
9PARADOX An apparent contradiction that is nevertheless somehow true What at first seems impossible is actually entirely plausible and not strange at allThe contradiction usually stems from one of the words being used figuratively or in more than one senseContains a shock value; its seeming impossibility startles the reader into attention and its absurdity underscores the truth of what is being saidEXAMPLE: “I must be cruel only to be kind.” --Hamlet
10OVERSTATEMENT & UNDERSTATEMENT OVERSTATEMENT (HYPERBOLE): exaggeration in the service of truthUNDERSTATEMENT (LITOTES): saying less than one means
11EXAMPLES“The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice.”Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded / That all the Apostles would have done as they did.A man who could make so vile a pun would not scruple to pick a pocket.Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her person for the worse.. . . Where ignorance is bliss, / ‘Tis folly to be wise.All night I made my bed to swim; with my tears I dissolved my couch.Believe him, he has know the world too long, / And seen the death of much immortal song.Cowards die many times before their deaths; / The valiant never did but once.. . . all men would be cowards if they durst.