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The Writing of Irony

 

反諷 (irony) 是一種修辭技巧,是比較間接而無攻擊性的諷刺。

常運用反或雙關,多含影射以及言外之意

Irony, also called rhetorical irony, limited to written and spoken forms, is a literary term, a figure of speech, which emphasizes the opposite of the literal meaning of a statement or a situation.  The Taming of the Shrew is a good example where irony and puns are prevalently used throughout the play.

 

Things aren’t always what they seem to be.  Irony explores the contradiction between what is said and what is implied (verbal irony), between what happens and what is expected to happen (situational irony), and in situation about the characters where facts are revealed to the reader or the audience unbeknown to the characters in a work of literature (dramatic irony).  Its purpose is not to attack an individual to cause pain.  Through irony, the intentional use of language, usually with humor, contrary to the truth, indirectly exposes truth sometimes oblivious to the public.  

 

 

Example of Verbal Irony:

An example of verbal irony is in Macbeth, Act 2, scene 3 when Lennox talked about the stormy night, and Macbeth responded with it being a rough night.  What wasn’t said was that Macbeth had murdered King Duncan that night and the statement of a rough night was actually a verbal irony.  To read Macbeth online, please click on the link http://www.twelfth-night.info/clicknotes/macbeth/T23.html  (line 54 to 61)

 

Sarcasm is a particularly blunt form of verbal irony.

 

Example of Dramatic Irony:

An example of dramatic irony is in Kate Chopin’s novel “The Story of an Hour” when the doctors came and stated that Ms. Mallard had died of heart disease--of the joy that kills.  In reality, it was the horror to see her husband alive, realizing that she was no longer free that killed her.  To read Kate Chopin's novel "The Story of an Hour" online, please click on the link  http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/webtexts/hour/ 

 

When used in tragedy, dramatic irony is called tragic irony.

 

Example of Situational Irony:

An example of situational irony is in Romeo and Juliet, Scene III, when Juliet kills herself for real when discovering Romeo’s death triggered by her faked death.  To read Romeo and Juliet online, please click on the link http://shakespeare.mit.edu/romeo_juliet/full.html

 

 

Written By Elisa English

On 8/18/10 in Minneapolis

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