Take the song "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette. There were many heated debates when it came out over whether the situations described in the song are actually ironic or just unfortunate incidents. And over the years there were more debates about whether the song really is ironic because it's called "Ironic" but nothing in the song is ironic. Yes, that's irony. While it is possible for one person to find something ironc that another person does not, there are several defined types for irony that apply in life and in literature as you can see from the irony examples below. There are many ways to play with irony.
This is great because it brings added layers and texture to a story. Irony is predominantly defined within three main categories: dramatic irony, situational irony, and verbal irony. Let's have some fun with each in these examples of irony. Dramatic irony is used when the audience knows more about what's going on than the characters. This creates suspense, or humor, as the audience waits to see if the characters will come to understand what's really happening. Dramatic irony heightens the audience's anticipation, hopes, or fears, but it can also be used for comedic effect.
Have you ever read a novel or watched a play or movie where the narrator was omniscient knew what every character was thinking and feeling? These are great setups for dramatic irony. Dramatic irony has a nice place in both comedy and tragedy. As readers wait to see when the main character will "catch on", suspense is building and the pages are turning. For more examples, take a look at Dramatic Irony Examples.
This type of irony occurs when something happens that is completely different from what was expected. Usually, these instances incorporate some type of contradiction and a certain level of shock. For more examples, check out Examples of Situational Irony. That sounds a lot like sarcasm , doesn't it? Let's say we were reading about a character who was afraid of heights. One day, her boyfriend surprises her with two tickets for a hot air balloon ride.
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She replies with, "Wow, I can't wait! It's actually verbal irony. This form of irony occurs when a character says one thing, but means another. Sarcasm comes into play when a witty attack or somewhat derogatory statement is made. The first two examples are verbal irony, the second two are sarcasm.
Did you spot the difference? Sarcasm is meaner, more derogatory or condescending. For more, see Examples of Verbal Irony. Dramatic, verbal and situational irony are considered the three main types of irony in literature and drama but there are other types of irony found in everyday life. Socratic irony is most often found in the world of academia; it is related to the Socratic Teaching Method. This method encourages students to present opposing views while the teacher feigns ignorance.
This way, students learn to reason and deduce on their own, independent from the opinions of their teacher. Outside of academia, Socratic irony may be thought of as "playing the fool," simulating ignorance in order to reveal another person's ignorance or flaws. Cosmic irony can be attributed to some sort of misfortune. This form of irony is the result of fate or chance and the outcomes are not a result of the characters' actions. So it can seem as if an outside force has a hand in the situation.
Outside tragic, nonfictional irony of events like the sinking of the Titanic, isn't irony a wonderful literary tool? No one wants to be predictable, and irony is anything but that. Whether it's dramatic irony, where readers are waiting for the other shoe to drop; situational irony, where everyone involved is shocked; or verbal irony, where words don't line up with true intentions, irony is a fantastic way to send a curveball straight down centerfield.
Types of Irony There are many ways to play with irony.
Dramatic Irony Dramatic irony is used when the audience knows more about what's going on than the characters. Her brother's best friend knows this and is trying to find a way to ask her out on a date. Where is she? The reader knows she's been taken ill, he does not.
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Now, a healthy dose of suspense is added to the plot. Let's take the same woman and her brother's best friend in a different, comedic direction. In this instance, he wants to leave a love poem at her door. Right when he bends down to push the piece of paper under her door, she flings it open in a hurry, steps out, and trips right over him!
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A woman thinks her boyfriend is about to break up with her. One caveat: The study wasn't done in humans -- only in human tissues and lab mice. What works in a hypercontrolled environment of mice, dosed with very specific amounts of caffeine, may not be the same as what happens when you drink a cup of joe at home. He also offers a word of caution: Because caffeine can make blood vessels grow, providing more oxygen to fuel tumors, the coffee-drinking advice might not hold for people who have cancer.
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This post originally appeared on Business Insider. A group of German researchers thinks it has found a possible answer, and it has to do with how the cells in our blood vessels react to caffeine. The researchers think the caffeine level required for optimal heart health is about four shots' worth of espresso a day, though everyone's caffeine concentrations will be a little different.
But don't overdo it. More from Inc.