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Source: Reedsy
Published: October 2019

Types of Irony

Circulated: October 8, 2020

Irony is a storytelling tool used to contrast how things seem and how they are in reality. Irony brings added layers and texture to a story and comes in three categories:

Type of Irony Explanation Example
Situational When you expect one outcome to occur, but the opposite occurs. A fire department burns down, A critic of social media uses Facebook to share their criticisms. An unsinkable ship “The Titanic” sinks on its first voyage.
Dramatic When the audience knows more about what is going on than the characters. In Star Wars, Luke does not know Darth Vader is his father until Episode V, but the audience knows sooner. In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo does not know that Juliet has faked her death, so he decides to drink poison and take his own life.
Verbal When you say something, but mean the opposite. In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield casually says, “I have to have this operation. It isn’t very serious. I have this tiny little tumor on the brain.”. In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus is described as “an honorable man” when Brutus conspired to assassinate Caesar.

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