Dramatic Irony Examples

Dramatic Irony

There are three types of irony-verbal, situational, and dramatic. Irony is defined as the difference between what is said and what is meant or the difference between what appears to happen and what actually happens.

Dramatic Irony occurs when the audience (of a movie, play, etc.) understands something about a character's actions or an event but the characters do not.

Examples of Dramatic Irony:

1. Girl in a horror film hides in a closet where the killer just went (the audience knows the killer is there, but she does not).

2. In Romeo and Juliet, the audience knows that Juliet is only asleep-not dead-but Romeo does not, and he kills himself.

3. In Macbeth, King Duncan says that he trusts Macbeth ("he was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust), but the audience knows that Macbeth is plotting to kill Duncan.

4. The Greek myth of Oedipus, as told in Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex, is full of dramatic irony. King Oedipus wants to expose the killer of the former king, Laius. The audience knows that Oedipus is the killer, but Oedipus does not realize that he killed the king.

5. In Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, we know that the old woman bringing the apple is the wicked queen who wants to kill Snow White, but she does not. She purchases the apple, takes a bite, and falls.

6. Another Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast, has examples of dramatic irony. The audience knows from the beginning of the movie that the beast is a prince, but Belle does not.

Related Links:
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Macbeth Act I - Summary
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A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 4 Summary
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Dracula Chapters 17 and 19 Summary
Verbal Irony Examples
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