dramatic irony


Definition of dramatic irony

: incongruity between a situation developed in a drama and the accompanying words or actions that is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play : irony sense 2b All the other doctors are knownothing quacks; that the audience has more medical knowledge than they is but one example of the dramatic irony which is a feature of Alan Bennett's brilliant script.— Alan Geary

Examples of dramatic irony in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Magma, though, the cumulative effect of many such self-recriminations is a sense of dramatic irony. Brandon Taylor, Vulture, 5 Aug. 2021 As a master of dramatic irony, this is a twist of fate that Mank himself would have relished. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 26 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, there was a strange pathos to Matt’s predicament, a dramatic irony in the discord between what had unfolded onscreen and off. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 16 Mar. 2021 Critics often note Ishiguro’s use of dramatic irony, which allows readers to know more than his characters do. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, 2 Mar. 2021 Beliefs espoused in youth gain dramatic irony from the vantage of old age. Alice Gregory, The New Yorker, 9 Nov. 2020 The pandemic has also revealed the inherent dramatic irony in trying to fit an art form defined by live performance on Zoom. Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Sep. 2020 That slight moment of textbook dramatic irony has haunted me for years. TheWeek, 12 July 2020 In the process, the game leans heavily on dramatic irony, giving a winking nod to an audience that often knows the result and coming consequences of a scene before the characters involved. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 12 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dramatic irony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dramatic irony

1881, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of dramatic irony was in 1881

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Cite this Entry

“Dramatic irony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dramatic%20irony. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dramatic irony

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dramatic irony


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