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Literary Terms 1 Ms.W

Terms in this set (59)

A special kind of contrast between appearance and reality—usually one in which reality is the opposite from what it seems. There are four major types of irony:
1. Verbal Irony: when someone knowingly exaggerates or says one thing and means another. In speech, tone of voice makes ironic intent obvious: "That's just w onderful !" can clearly mean "That is terrible!" In Julius Caesar , Antony calls Brutus "honorable" but knows he is not honorable. Sarcasm is verbal irony that is harsh and heavy-handed rather than clever and incisive.
2. Situational Irony: defies logical cause/effect relationships and justifiable expectations. For example, if a greedy millionaire were to buy a lottery ticket and win additional millions, the irony would be situational because such a circumstance cannot be explained logically. Such a circumstance seems "unfair." This sense of being "unfair" or "unfortunate" is a trademark of situational irony. Another example of situational irony is if a fireman's house burns down.
3. Cosmic Irony (or Irony of Fate): Some irony goes beyond being unfair and is morally tragic. Such irony is often so severe that it causes people to question God and see the universe as hostile. For example, if an honest, hardworking, and generous person buys a lottery ticket and wins ten million dollars, only to die in an auto crash two days later, the irony would reach tragic proportions. When situational irony reaches this scale, it is often called cosmic irony or irony of fate. Such irony typically suggests that people are pawns to malicious forces.
4. Dramatic Irony: created by the audience's/reader's awareness of something that a character does not know.