Verbal Irony - Examples and Definition

 

define verbal irony in literature

Irony (from Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning 'dissimulation, feigned ignorance'), in its broadest sense, is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or event in which what appears, on the surface, to be the case, differs radically from what is actually the case.. Irony can be categorized into different types, including: verbal irony, dramatic irony, and situational irony. Definition of Verbal Irony. Verbal irony occurs when a speaker speaks something contradictory to what he intends to say. It is an intentional product of the speaker, and is contradictory to his/her emotions and actions. To define it simply, it occurs when a character uses a statement with underlying meanings that contrast with its literal meaning; it shows that the writer has used verbal irony. Jul 25,  · "Verbal irony forms the basis for what we mean when we say irony. In ancient Greek comedy, there was a character called an eiron who seemed subservient, ignorant, weak, and he played off a pompous, arrogant, clueless figure called the alazon.


3 Types of Irony in Literature | Irony Definition & Examples


Irony can be categorized into different types, including: verbal ironydramatic ironyand situational irony. Verbal, dramatic, and situational irony are often used for emphasis in the assertion of a truth. The ironic form of simileused in sarcasmand some forms of litotes can emphasize one's meaning by the deliberate use of language which states the opposite of the truth, denies the contrary of the truth, define verbal irony in literature, or drastically and obviously understates a factual connection.

Henry Watson Fowlerdefine verbal irony in literature, in The King's Englishsays, "any definition of irony—though hundreds might be given, and very few of them would be accepted—must include this, that the surface meaning and the underlying meaning of what is said are not the same. The use of irony may require the concept of a double audience. The term is sometimes used as a synonym for incongruous and applied to "every trivial oddity" in situations where there is no double audience.

Sullivanwhose real interest was, ironically, serious music, which he composed with varying degrees of success, achieved fame for his comic opera scores rather than for his more earnest efforts. The American Heritage Dictionary 's secondary meaning for irony : "incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs".

It is often included in definitions of irony not only that incongruity is present but also that the incongruity must reveal some aspect of human vanity or folly. Thus the majority of American Heritage Dictionary' s usage panel found it unacceptable to use the word ironic to describe mere unfortunate coincidences or surprising disappointments that "suggest no particular lessons define verbal irony in literature human vanity or folly, define verbal irony in literature.

A condition of affairs or events of a character opposite to what was, or might naturally be, define verbal irony in literature, expected; a contradictory outcome of events as if in mockery of the promise and fitness of things. In French, ironie du sort. The term irony has its roots in the Greek comic character Eirona clever underdog who by his wit repeatedly triumphs over the boastful character Alazon.

The Socratic irony of the Platonic dialogues derives from this comic origin. According to Richard Whately: [10]. Aristotle mentions Eironeiawhich in his time was commonly employed to signify, not according to the modern use of 'Irony, saying the contrary define verbal irony in literature what is meant', but, what later writers usually express by Litotesi.

The word came into English as a figure of speech in the 16th define verbal irony in literature as similar to the French ironie, define verbal irony in literature. The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics distinguishes between the following types of irony: [3].

Verbal irony is a statement in which the meaning that a speaker employs is sharply different from the meaning that is ostensibly expressed. An ironic statement usually involves the explicit expression of one attitude or evaluation, but with indications in the overall speech-situation that the speaker intends a very different, and often opposite, attitude define verbal irony in literature evaluation.

Verbal irony is distinguished from situational irony and dramatic irony in that it is produced intentionally by speakers. For instance, if a man exclaims, "I'm not upset!

But if the same speaker said the same words and intended to communicate that he was upset by claiming he was not, the utterance would be verbal irony. This distinction illustrates an important aspect of verbal irony—speakers communicate implied propositions that are intentionally contradictory to the propositions contained in the words themselves. There are, however, examples of verbal irony that do not rely on saying the define verbal irony in literature of what one means, and there are cases where all the traditional criteria of irony exist and the utterance is not ironic.

The literal truth of what's written clashes with the perceived truth of what's meant to revealing effect, which is irony in a nutshell". Ironic similes are a form of verbal irony where a speaker intends to communicate the opposite of what they mean. For instance, the following explicit similes begin with the deceptive formation of a statement that means A but that eventually conveys the meaning not A :.

The irony is recognizable in each case only by using knowledge of the source concepts e. A fair amount of confusion has surrounded the issue of the relationship between verbal irony and sarcasm. This suggests that the two concepts are linked but may be considered separately. The Oxford English Dictionary 's entry for sarcasm does not mention irony, but the irony entry includes:.

A figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the opposite of that expressed by the words used; usually taking the form of sarcasm or ridicule in which laudatory expressions are used to imply condemnation or contempt. Partridge in Usage and Abusage would separate the two forms of speech completely:. Irony must not be confused with sarcasm, which is direct: sarcasm means precisely what it says, but in a sharp, caustic, The psychologist Martin, in The Psychology of Humouris quite clear that irony is where "the literal meaning is opposite to the intended" and sarcasm is "aggressive humor that pokes fun".

For sarcasm, he cites Winston Churchillwho is supposed to have said, when told by Bessie Braddock that he was drunk, "But I shall be sober in the morning, and you will still be ugly", as being sarcastic, while not saying the opposite of what is intended. Psychology researchers Lee and Katz have addressed the issue directly. They found that ridicule is an important aspect of sarcasm, but not define verbal irony in literature verbal irony in general. By this account, sarcasm is a particular kind of personal criticism levelled against a person or group of persons that incorporates verbal irony.

For example, a woman reports to her friend that rather than going to a medical doctor to treat her cancer, she has decided to see a spiritual healer instead. Define verbal irony in literature response her friend says sarcastically, "Oh, brilliant, what an ingenious idea, that's really going to cure you.

Some psycholinguistic theorists e. The differences between these rhetorical devices tropes can be quite subtle and relate to typical emotional reactions of listeners, and the rhetorical goals of the speakers. Echoic allusion is the main component involved in conveying verbally ironic meaning.

It is best described as a speech act by which the speaker simultaneously represents a thought, belief or idea, and implicitly attributes this idea to someone else who is wrong or deluded. In this way, the speaker intentionally dissociates themselves from the idea and conveys their tacit dissent, thereby providing a different meaning to their utterance. In some cases, the speaker can provide stronger dissociation from the represented thought by also implying derision toward the idea or outwardly making fun of the person or people they attribute it define verbal irony in literature. Echoic allusion, like other forms of verbal irony, relies on semantically disambiguating cues to be interpreted correctly.

These cues often come in the form of paralinguistic markers such as prosody, tone, or pitch, [16] as well as nonverbal cues like hand gesture, facial expression and eye gaze. From simple semantic analysis, Person 2 appears to believe Person 1. However, if this conversation is given the context of Person 2 walking in on Person 1 about to eat some cake, and Person 2 speaking their sentence in a significantly decreased rate of speech and lowered tone, the interpretation of "I just must have been mistaken" changes.

Instead of being taken as Person 2 believing Person 1, the utterance calls to mind someone who would believe Person 1, while also conveying Person 2's implication that said individual would be considered gullible. From this, Person 2 negates the possible interpretation that they believe Person 1.

Dramatic irony exploits the device of giving the spectator an item of information that at least one of the define verbal irony in literature in the narrative is unaware of at least consciouslythus placing the spectator a step ahead of at least one of the characters. Connop Thirlwall in his article On the Irony of Sophocles originally highlighted the role of irony in drama. According to Stanton, [20] dramatic irony has three stages—installation, exploitation, and resolution often also called preparation, define verbal irony in literature, suspension, and resolution —producing dramatic conflict in what one character relies or appears to rely upon, the contrary of which is known by observers especially the audience; sometimes to other characters within the drama to be true.

Tragic irony is a special category of dramatic irony. In tragic irony, the words and actions of the characters contradict the real situation, which the spectators fully realize. The Oxford English Dictionary defines this as: [11].

Ancient Greek drama was especially characterized by tragic irony because the audiences were so familiar with the legends that most of the plays dramatized. Sophocles ' Oedipus Rex provides a classic example of tragic irony at its fullest. Colebrook writes: [26]. Tragic irony is exemplified in ancient drama The audience watched a drama unfold, already knowing its destined outcome In Sophocles' Oedipus the Kingfor example, 'we' the audience can see what Oedipus is blind to. The man he murders is his define verbal irony in literature, but he does not know it.

Further, Oedipus vows to find the murderer and curses him for the plague that he has caused, not knowing that the murderer he has cursed and vowed to find is himself.

The audience knows that Oedipus himself is the murderer that he is seeking; Oedipus, Creon, and Jocasta do not. Irony has some of its foundation in the onlooker's perception of paradox that arises from insoluble problems. For example, in the William Shakespeare play Romeo and Julietwhen Romeo finds Juliet in a drugged, deathlike sleep, he assumes her to be dead. The audience knows that Juliet has faked her death, yet Romeo believes she is truly dead, and commits suicide.

Upon awakening to find her dead lover beside her, Juliet stabs herself with a dagger thus killing herself, too. Situational irony is a relatively modern use of the term, and describes a sharp discrepancy between the expected result and actual results in a certain situation. Situational irony The expression cosmic irony or "irony of fate" stems from the notion that the gods or the Fates are amusing themselves by toying with the minds of mortals with deliberate ironic intent.

Closely connected with situational irony, define verbal irony in literature, it arises from sharp contrasts between reality and human ideals, or between human intentions and actual results. The resulting situation is poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended. There is a strong feeling of a hostile deus ex machina in Hardy's novels, define verbal irony in literature. When history is seen through modern eyes, there often appear sharp contrasts between the way historical figures see their world's future and what actually transpires, define verbal irony in literature.

For example, during the s The New York Times repeatedly scorned crossword puzzles. Init lamented "the sinful waste in the utterly futile finding of words the letters of which will fit into a prearranged pattern. The craze evidently is dying out fast.

In a more tragic example of historical irony, what people now refer to as the " First World War " was define verbal irony in literature by H. Historical irony is therefore a subset of cosmic irony, but one in which the element of time is bound to play a role, define verbal irony in literature.

However, it is an often ignored fact that, define verbal irony in literature, inthe US originally supported the Viet Minh in its fight against Japanese occupation. Ideologues within the Bush administration persuaded themselves that American power, adroitly employed, could transform that region The results speak define verbal irony in literature themselves.

Gunpowder was, define verbal irony in literature, according to prevailing academic consensus, discovered in the 9th century by Chinese alchemists searching for an elixir of immortality. Historical irony also includes inventors killed by their own creationssuch as William Bullock — unless, due to define verbal irony in literature nature of the invention, the risk of death was always known and accepted, as in the case of Otto Lilienthalwho was killed by flying a glider of his own devising.

In certain kinds of situational or historical irony, a factual truth is highlighted by some person's complete ignorance of it or his belief in its opposite. However, this state of affairs does not occur by human design. In some religious contexts, such situations have been seen as the deliberate work of define verbal irony in literature providence to emphasize truths and to taunt humans for not being aware of them when they could easily have been enlightened this is similar to human use of irony.

Such ironies are often more evident, or more striking, when viewed retrospectively in the light of later developments which make the truth of past situations obvious to all. Irony is often used in literature to produce a comic effect. This may also be combined with satire. For instance, an author may facetiously state something as a well-known fact and then demonstrate through the narrative that the fact is untrue. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice begins with the proposition "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

The irony deepens as the story promotes this romance and ends in a double marriage proposal.

 

Verbal Irony - Definition and Examples

 

define verbal irony in literature

 

Jul 25,  · "Verbal irony forms the basis for what we mean when we say irony. In ancient Greek comedy, there was a character called an eiron who seemed subservient, ignorant, weak, and he played off a pompous, arrogant, clueless figure called the alazon. Jul 31,  · In this lesson, we will define verbal irony as we use it in everyday life and its use in literature, look at the different kinds of verbal irony. Situational irony definition, irony involving a situation in which actions have an effect that is opposite from what was intended, so that the outcome is contrary to what was expected. See more.