Dramatic Irony vs Situational Irony
Difference between Dramatic Irony and Situational Irony is a must know topic, if you are a literature student, as irony is one of the various techniques when studying literary works. Irony is a literary device commonly used to express a contrary meaning than what can be observed in a situation. When speaking of irony there are different categories such as situational irony and dramatic irony. Situational irony is when the opposite of the expected results occur. Dramatic irony, however, is when the reader or the audience is aware of the reality of the situation, but the characters are not. This article attempts to give a basic understanding of the two terms while emphasizing the difference.
What is Situational irony?
Situational irony is when there is a contrast between expectations and outcomes. Simply this is when the exact opposite of what we expect occurs. Situational irony is used widely by writers to evoke comedy, as well as a tragedy in the story. Let us try to understand this through an example. Let us assume a person who has bought a brand new car drives really slow to avoid any accidents however ends up getting hit by another vehicle. This is ironic because the exact opposite of what the person expects happens.
What is Dramatic irony?
Dramatic irony is when the characters of a particular story are not aware of the reality of the situation, but the readers or the audience is. This is a technique used by writers to create suspense since the readers are already aware of the situation, but are excited to know how the characters would react to it once they get to know the reality. Through providing a piece of information and keeping it from the characters, t he writer is able to create a curiosity in the reader. Let us try to understand this through an example as well. In Macbeth written by Shakespeare, King Duncan visits Macbeth’s palace and speaks very highly of him. However, unlike the audience the king and the rest of the characters are unaware of the fact that Macbeth is planning on murdering him that very night. This can be considered a fine example of dramatic irony in literature.
What is the difference between Dramatic Irony and Situational Irony?
• Situational irony is when there is a mismatch between the expectations of someone and the outcomes that he or she would gain.
• Situational irony is used widely in literary works to give a comic or tragic aspect to a story.
• Dramatic irony is when the audience or else the readers are aware of the truth or reality, but the characters are not aware of the reality of the situation.
• While situational irony takes the reader or audience completely by surprise where something contrary of the expected results take place, in dramatic irony the reader or audience is aware of the situation.
• However, in this case the characters do not possess the awareness of the reader or audience.