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In literature, there are writing devices used to make the literature work pleasant and convey the intended meaning of every word used. Just to mention a few this includes symbolic, similes, idiom, metaphor and irony among others.

Irony  Definition

The irony is a figure of speech that uses words with an intended meaning to mean different from the real meaning of the used words. It can also apply to the opposite of the expected. In other words, it’s a distinction between the appearance and the reality of the literature concerned.

There are Three Types of Irony

  • Dramatic Irony
  • Situational Irony
  • Verbal Irony

Dramatic Irony

This is a type of irony commonly used in work of art such as plays, movies, poems, and books. It arises when audience have a clue of what is going to happen and the characters in the art are not aware.

Dramatic irony has 3 stages, they are;

  1. Installation stage – Audience is made aware of something the character doesn’t know about.
  2. Exploitation stage – the information is used to grow the curiosity in the midst of the audience.
  3. Resolution stage – this shows what really happens when the character lastly figures out what’s going
  4. on?

In some cases, there is a dramatic irony categorized as tragic irony which occurs when characters in the art say or do something that converses a meaning unknown to them but recognized by their audience.

Situational Irony

This is the type of irony occurs where the opposite of expected actually happens. It comprises the difference between what intended to happen and what really happens. It doesn’t mean that all that is not expected to happen when they happen is a situational irony. In some cases, they are coincidences or bad lucks which are not situational irony. For situational irony to occur there must be a clue which drives a person to suspect that a specific situation or event is unlikely to happen.

Verbal Irony

Verbal irony involves the use of words in a speech to mean something different from what a person actually says. This type of irony is differentiated from other types by the feature of speakers intentional use of words to mean something different from what they literary mean in their conversation.

Many are contradicted by sarcasm and verbal irony but they are different devices with different intentions. Sarcasm is mostly used as a direct and sharp statement intended to insult and cause harm and pain whereas verbal irony denotes an altered meaning to what is literally said,

2 Types of Verbal Irony

Overstatement – Implies in a scenario where the speaker exaggerates something.

Understatement – Is a verbal irony used when a speaker is undermining something.

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