Verbal Irony Examples
You already know that irony is when events are words appear to be the opposite of reality.
Verbal Irony is when words express something contrary to truth or someone says the opposite of what they really feel or mean. Verbal irony is often sarcastic.
Verbal Irony Examples:
1. Looking at her son's messy room, Mom says, "Wow, you could win an award for cleanliness!"
2. On the way to school, the school bus gets a flat tire and the bus driver says, "Excellent! This day couldn't start off any better!"
3. Mark is very upset over the fact that his brand new truck has a little speck of mud on the bumper, and Jennifer, who has a used car, says, "My goodness! That's a shame!"
4. A student who goes to the restroom every day during class asks the teacher if he can go. Her response is "Sure, it's not like we do anything important in this class."
5. A mother with three noisy children has been waiting in line at the market. When it is her turn, the cashier asks if she would mind waiting while she runs to the restroom. The mother says, "Of course not-why in the world would you think I would mind?"
6. A small child does not flush the toilet, and the mother says, "I really appreciate when you flush the toilet! Thank you for remembering your manners!"
Examples of Verbal Irony in Literature:
1. In the movie Annie, the orphans say, "We love you Ms. Hannigan," to their guardian who is mean to them.
2. In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Marc Antony gives a speech in which he repeatedly refers to Brutus as "an honorable man," when Brutus just participated in murdering Caesar.
3. In Beauty and the Beast, an animated Disney movie, Belle refuses to marry Gaston by saying "I just don't deserve you!"
4. In The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, a group of school boys is stranded on an island while a war is going on in the world around them. Piggy, one of the characters, says that they are acting like a "crowd of kids," and that grownups would have "tea and talk" about their situation. His statement is ironic because of the grownup war that is raging in the world.
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