What is Irony?
An Irony is a literary device wherein the actual meaning is the exact opposite of the literal meaning. The term irony was taken from a Greek word, meaning pretend ignorance. Irony serves to emphasize truth in a situation.
Irony is usually used commonly in four ways: verbal irony, dramatic irony, situational irony, and Socratic irony.
Verbal irony ‘“ when a speaker says something but means exactly the opposite of what he just said, that is verbal irony. Sarcasm can be a form of verbal irony. For example, when somebody comments ‘what a cheerful day!’ to a weather that’s rumbling with thunder, this is verbal irony. Under verbal irony falls Ironic similes, examples of which are: ‘as cuddly as a lion’, ‘as quiet as a rave party’, or ‘as chewy as a rock’.
Dramatic irony ‘“ dramatic irony is when the audience is made privy to critical information which the character in a situation is unaware of. A classic example of dramatic irony is in the play Romeo & Juliet, where the audience knows that Juliet only took a potion and not a poison, and is not actually dead. However, Romeo does not know this and takes his own life.
Situational irony ‘“ when something occurs that is the reversal of what was originally planned by a character, this is called situational irony. For instance, if a man loses fat in order to impress a girl, and it turns out that the girl likes fat men, that is situational irony.
Socratic irony ‘“ when a character feigns ignorance in order to expose the weaknesses in another person’s argument, that is called Socratic irony (after Socrates). This is commonly used in debates.