Verbal Irony A person says one thing, but really means the opposite Similar to sarcasm, but sarcasm’s intention is to harm Example: Students: We love having homework! Please give us more! Ms. Parker: Sure! Grading papers is the number one thrill in my life!
More Examples of Verbal Irony Examples: As your teacher is signing detention forms for students who did not complete their homework, she says in an irritated voice, “I just love when students don’t do their homework!” You have a six-foot tall friend who you call “shorty.” You planned six months in advance for good weather on your wedding day. It is suddenly raining and hailing. You step outside and say, “Oh good! I was hoping it would rain.”
Situational Irony What actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or intended Irony of Events A woman moves to New York to get away from Californian men. However, while living in New York she meets a man from California, falls in love with him, and marries him.
More Examples of Situational Irony You go to see your dentist, and he has crooked teeth and visible cavities. In “The Most Dangerous Game,” Rainsford is on his way to hunt and becomes the hunted. In “The Gift of the Magi,” Della sells her hair to buy her husband a watch chain, but he sold the watch to buy her hair clips.
Dramatic Irony The reader or audience understands or knows more about the events than the character Situation: In a horror movie there is a killer on the loose. The audience knows the teenagers shouldn’t go walking in the woods at night. The audience knows the killer is lurking in the trees.
More Examples of Dramatic Irony Tim’s parents are proud of the “A” he got on the test, but we know he cheated. Alex writes a love poem to Judy, but we know that Judy loves Devin. In Cinderella, the prince goes searching for the “princess” who lost her slipper at the ball. The prince does not know that she is a poor girl, almost a slave to her stepsisters and stepmother. It is ironic because we know the owner of the shoe is Cinderella, a poor girl, but he thinks it is a girl that comes from great wealth.
1. A mean old man ate a large meal at a restaurant. The waitress tried to provide him with excellent service, but every time she brought him a dish, he complained. First he thought that the soup was too cold when it was hot. Then he said that his steak was dry and chewy, when it was moist and succulent. Then he complained that one of her blonde hairs was in his mashed potatoes, but the hair was actually grey like his own. She remained patient and continued to try to help him until the end of the meal, when he left her a quarter for a tip. She replied on his way out, “Thank you for the generous tip, Mister.” Which type of irony is used? Verbal Explain your answer: She worked hard to try and make the man happy, and he left her a bad tip. Saying “Thank you for the generous tip, Mister” is really the opposite of what she meant.
2. Tom has always liked Lucy, but Lucy has always thought Tom was annoying and unattractive. One day, Lucy comes home to find an eviction notice on her door. Apparently, her roommate had been spending the rent money that Lucy was giving her on other things. Lucy only has 24 hours to get all her stuff over to her mom’s house, and Lucy doesn’t even have a car. However, Tom has a truck. Consequently, Lucy calls up Tom and asks him how he’s doing. She tells him that she’s always thought he was funny, and that they should hang out sometime. Tom thinks that Lucy has finally come around and is beginning to like him. He also thinks that his jokes are funny because she is laughing after everything that he says. Which type of irony is used? Dramatic Explain your answer: Tom doesn’t know the real reason that Lucy is calling him, but we know.
3. The rapper Eminem is well-known for his song writing ability, but he is equally known for his shockingly profane and obscene lyrical content. Eminem has made a fortune selling his curse filled songs to millions of children around the world. But, on a 60 Minutes interview, Eminem claimed that there was no swearing in his own home and that his children were not allowed to play music with curse words, including his own tracks. Which type of irony is used? Situational Explain your answer: You would expect that because Eminem uses so much profanity, he would be that way at home also, but he isn’t.