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dramatic irony

noun
1.
irony that is inherent in speeches or a situation of a drama and is understood by the audience but not grasped by the characters in the play.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dramatic irony
  • This technique is exactly the opposite of dramatic irony.
  • Still more plot twists and dramatic irony color the spellbinding resolution.
  • This sets up a metastructure of dramatic irony, as we, the readers anticipate the somethingness-at-hand in contrast.
  • Follow with definitions of dramatic irony and foreshadowing and a discussion of their importance.
  • In dramatic irony, the reader is aware of something that a character in a piece of literature does not know.
  • Explain the use of verbal, situational, and dramatic irony.
British Dictionary definitions for dramatic irony

dramatic irony

noun
1.
(theatre) the irony occurring when the implications of a situation, speech, etc, are understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for dramatic irony

in literature, a plot device in which the audience's or reader's knowledge of events or individuals surpasses that of the characters. The words and actions of the characters therefore take on a different meaning for the audience or reader than they have for the play's characters. This may happen when, for example, a character reacts in an inappropriate or foolish way or when a character lacks self-awareness and thus acts under false assumptions

Learn more about dramatic irony with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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