Situational irony. This is the disparity of intention and result: when the result of an action is contrary to the desired or expected effect. Special category of situational irony is irony of fate



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Word irony originates from Ancient Greek and it meant hypocrisy, deception (prevare), or feigned (hliniti, pretvarjati se) ignorance. The simplest definiton of irony is to say one thing but to mean something else. Or if I tell whith other words irony is a situation, literary or rhetorical device, in which there is an unintended connection that goes beyond the most evident meaning.

We know 3 types of irony.



  1. For example Juliet’s father organizes a party with intention to meet Julia with her future husband Paris, who her father choose to be her husband. But something unexpected happens. On that party Julia meets Romeo and they fall in love.

This is SITUATIONAL IRONY. This is the disparity of intention and result: when the result of an action is contrary to the desired or expected effect.

    1. Special category of situational irony is IRONY OF FATE or COSMIC IRONY. The expression “irony of fate” stems from the notion that the gods (or the Fates) are amusing themselves by toying with the minds of mortals with deliberate ironic intent. Closely connected with situational irony, it arises from sharp contrasts between reality and human ideals, or between human intentions and actual results. The resulting situation is poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.

    2. Another special category of cosmic irony is HISTORIC IRONY or COSMIC IRONY THROUGH TIME. Tragic example of historical irony, what people now refer to as "World War I" was originally called "The War to End All Wars" or "The Great War." Historical irony is therefore a subset of cosmic irony, but one in which the element of time is bound to play a role.

  1. Paris kills Tybalt. There is a scene where Julia talks with her mother and she pretends that she fells a compassion towards Tybalt. But the truth is that she is sad because Romeo is far away from her. So she pretends that she is sad because of the death of Tybalt but only she knows the real reason for her sadneness.

This is VERBAL IRONY. This is a disparity (neskladje) of expression and intention: when a speaker says one thing but means another, or when a literal meaning is contrary to its intended effect.

  1. There is a scene when Romeo finds Juliet in a drugged sleep. He assumes her to be dead and kills himself. Upon awakening to find her dead lover beside her, Juliet then kills herself.

This is DRAMATIC IRONY. This is a disparity of expression and awareness: when words and actions possess a significance that the listener or audience understands, but the speaker or character does not. That means that the audience knows something about present or future circumstances that the character does not know.

    1. Special category of dramatic irony is TRAGIC IRONY. In tragic irony, the words and actions of the characters contradict the real situation, which the spectators fully realize. Ancient Greek drama was especially characterized by tragic irony because the audiences were so familiar with the legends that most of the plays dramatized. Sophocles' Oedipus the King provides a classic example of tragic irony at its fullest.

DRamataic purposes: means acting as if there is a reason behind what you are doing on stage. We know three dramatic purposes.

First dramatic purpose is to offer an aesthetic pleasure. That means that the stage is decorated, the costumes are beautiful, and the whole scene looks impressive. So that we really enjoy in a performance and in the scene A lot of such plays were made by Tomaž Pandur. He really made impressive scenes, costumes so that viewers can really enjoy in aesthetic…



  1. Second dramatic purpose is to teach. First process of teaching originates from churches. Priests taught Christians to learn them to behave properly. That means behaving as in the Bible was told to behave. A lot of educational plays were written by George Bernard Shaw for example Man and Superman, Doctor’s dilemma…Also Ancient Greek theatre had educational role.

3.) So the third dramatic purpose is to entertain people. Master for writing entertaining plays was Oscar Wild. He wrote comedies like The importance of being Earnest, A woman of no importance… Also Roman theatre gave special place to entertaining. But for example Shakespeare joined both functions-teaching and entertaining.

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