- Dramatic irony is defined as when an audience watching a play understands what's going on in a situation while the characters are unaware of what is happening.
An example of dramatic irony is the last scene in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, when Juliet commits suicide because she thinks Romeo has committed suicide.
dramatic irony definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Variant of irony
- a method of humorous or subtly sarcastic expression in which the intended meaning of the words is the direct opposite of their usual sense: the irony of calling a stupid plan “clever”
- an instance of this
- the contrast, as in a play, between what a character thinks the truth is, as revealed in a speech or action, and what an audience or reader knows the truth to beoften dramatic irony
- a combination of circumstances or a result that is the opposite of what is or might be expected or considered appropriate: an irony that the firehouse burned
- a cool, detached attitude of mind, characterized by recognition of the incongruities and complexities of experience
- the expression of such an attitude in a literary work
- the feigning of ignorance in argument: often called (after Socrates' use of this tactic in Plato's Dialogues)
Origin: French ironie ; from Classical Latin ironia ; from Classical Greek eirōneia ; from eirōn, dissembler in speech ; from eirein, to speak ; from Indo-European base an unverified form wer-, to speak from source word