In search of some irony examples that can assist you perceive this difficult literary time period? Learn on to get the official definition together with loads of examples.

Let’s face it.

Irony is a tough idea.

As a result of for those who’re like most individuals, you possibly can’t actually clarify it, however you recognize it whenever you see it.

Generally it’s used verbally. Different instances, it’s a state of affairs.

However largely?

It’s used incorrectly. ( you Alanis Morissette).

In order that begs the query: What does the phrase irony imply, precisely?

Hold studying to get the official irony definition, after which we’ll take a look at loads of irony examples to clear up the fuzz surrounding this literary time period.

Let’s begin originally.

Irony Examples

What Is Irony?

Irony is a sort of figurative language that refers back to the conflict between expectations and actuality. Writers use this literary system as a robust software to attract readers in and hold them entertained.

For instance, it’s ironic when a police station will get robbed. Or when your supervisor calls you into his workplace, and also you’re anticipating a increase, however as a substitute you get fired.

However right here’s the place most people run into bother…

Ironic: The Most Abused Phrase within the English Language?

I’ve accomplished it. You’ve accomplished it. Everyone knows somebody who’s accomplished it.

Let’s say I run into you on the grocery retailer and inform you, “That is the third time we’ve ran into one another at this time. Isn’t that ironic?”

Truly, no.

That’s only a coincidence.

However it’s straightforward to misuse a phrase when there’s quite a lot of confusion surrounding it. In order that brings me to my subsequent level.

What are the three Major Sorts of Irony?

irony examples ironic sign submerged sign: road ends at water

Listed below are the irony definitions for the three predominant sorts:

  1. Situational irony entails a state of affairs the place the result is completely different than anticipated (typically that is referred to as “structural irony”).
  2. Dramatic irony is when the viewers is aware of data that the characters aren’t.
  3. Verbal irony is when somebody says one factor, however means one other.

Fairly simple, proper?

However let’s be clear:

There are greater than three kinds of irony. As an illustration, cosmic irony, romantic irony, and socratic irony are all literary phrases you may vaguely bear in mind out of your highschool English class.

However all roads level again to the three predominant sorts: situational, dramatic, and verbal. So we’ll concentrate on these.

18 Examples of Irony

Every sort of irony serves a distinct objective in storytelling.

Let’s first discuss concerning the one which’s probably the most steadily misused:

Situational irony.

Situational Irony Examples

So what’s situational irony, once more?

Keep in mind, any such irony is after we anticipate one consequence, however get one other. Situational irony is usually confused with coincidences.

Right here’s a standard instance:

“We share the identical birthday! How ironic!”

Nope, that’s only a coincidence.

Now evaluate that to this:

“My spouse is a flight attendant however she’s frightened of heights. How ironic!”


That’s situational irony since you wouldn’t anticipate a flight attendant to worry heights.

And irony might be discovered nearly wherever. We see it in poetry, films, literature, popular culture, and in actual life.

As an illustration, an ideal instance comes from the film Discovering Nemo. 

There’s a clip the place Nemo’s dad, Marlin, is debating Mr. Ray on who can higher supervise Nemo so he doesn’t get into bother.

The irony is that in this debate is when Nemo swims off and will get into bother.

However what about real-life situational irony examples?

One nice instance occurred final yr when the College of British Columbia rescheduled their annual snowball struggle.

The rationale?

An excessive amount of snow.

Finished laughing?

Good. Now let’s transfer on to dramatic irony.

Examples of Dramatic Irony

Dramatic irony (additionally referred to as tragic irony) is when the viewers is aware of data that the characters aren’t.

We’re in on the key, mainly.

It goes one thing like this:

A woman in a scary film will get in her automotive the place the killer is hiding within the again seat. Now, you recognize the killer is there, however she doesn’t.

What occurs subsequent?

Effectively, I in all probability don’t must inform you.

However that dramatically ironic state of affairs creates suspense. It additionally has you yelling on the display screen, “HE’S IN THE BACK SEAT!”

Now you may be asking:

Can dramatic irony be utilized in extra than simply thrillers?

Sure, dramatic irony is used throughout all genres together with comedy, romance, and motion.

Revisiting our Discovering Nemo instance, there’s a dentist workplace scene the place Nemo fakes his dying. Not solely do we all know he’s faking, however we additionally know that it’s part of his grand plan to make it again dwelling.

See what I imply?

Lastly, certainly one of my favourite dramatic irony examples comes from the comedy, There’s One thing About Mary.

There’s a scene the place Ted thinks the cops have arrested him for giving a hitchhiker a journey.

In actuality?

They’re interrogating him for homicide.

We all know what’s happening, however Ted has no clue. So he finally ends up saying issues like, “The place I come from this isn’t that large of a deal.”

In the meantime, the police suppose he’s a psycho assassin as a result of they don’t notice he’s speaking about giving hitchhikers a journey.

Examples of Verbal Irony

Verbal irony is when somebody says the alternative of what they imply.

It’s often known as a determine of speech since you don’t take the literal that means.

Like when a instructor tells a quiet class, “Don’t everybody communicate directly!”

However right here’s the place it will get difficult:

Verbal irony is usually mistaken for sarcasm.

Now don’t get me flawed:

Sarcasm is a type of verbal irony, however not all examples of verbal irony are sarcasm.

So what’s the distinction?

Effectively, sarcasm is when one’s precise that means isn’t literal, but it surely’s stated in a mocking or vital tone.

So when somebody laughs at your footwear and says, “Good footwear, dork,” that’s sarcasm — but it surely’s additionally verbal irony for the reason that underlying that means is, “Your footwear look foolish.”

Verbal irony by itself, although, doesn’t must be mocking.

Working example:

Like when two individuals are strolling within the rain and one particular person says to the opposite, “Effectively, at the least the climate is sweet.”

Or when somebody says one thing is “as clear as mud.”

That’s verbal irony.

Now let’s flip to literature…

Irony Examples in Literature

Shakespeare was a wizard with metaphors and literary paradox — everybody is aware of that.

However Shakespeare was additionally the undisputed king of irony.

For instance, in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo discovers Juliet in a drugged sleep and he assumes she’s useless.

O my love, my spouse! 

Dying, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, 

Hath had no energy but upon thy magnificence. 

So what does Romeo do?

He commits suicide.

Then Juliet wakes up, finds her useless lover, and kills herself out of grief.

This can be a case of dramatic irony. Everyone knows Juliet’s simply asleep however Romeo doesn’t.

And you recognize what?

The whole play itself is situational irony.

We predict it’s a love story, but it surely’s truly a tragedy since each lovers kill themselves ultimately.

We additionally see dramatic irony in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. We all know the depraved queen is disguised as an aged lady bringing Snow White an apple, however Snow White doesn’t.

So Snow White grabs the poisoned apple, takes a chew, and falls.

If she breaks the tender peel to style the apple in my hand, her breath will silence, her blood congeal. Then I’ll be fairest within the land!

Right here’s a clip from the film:

However what about irony in popular culture?

Let’s speak about that subsequent.

Examples of Irony in Pop Tradition

Probably the greatest verbal irony examples comes from a political satire present, The Colbert Report.

Stephen Colbert performed an overtly, unapologetically conservative host.

All of us knew Colbert wasn’t truly conservative. However, he used verbal irony to attract his viewers in and poke enjoyable on the different facet.

For instance, when speaking about George W. Bush, Colbert stated, “I stand by this man. I stand by this man as a result of he stands for issues. Not just for issues, he stands on issues.”

Love him or hate him, you need to admit that’s fairly humorous.

One other humorous irony instance comes from the romantic comedy Alongside Got here Polly, the place the principle character, Reuben,  assesses dangers for a residing.

Regardless of all the time taking part in it protected, Reuben finds himself relationship a lady who engages in all types of dangerous habits.

This consists of having dinner at a Moroccan restaurant which ends horribly because of Reuben’s irritable bowel syndrome.

Take a look at this hilarious situational irony instance:

In fact, irony isn’t all the time humorous.

We noticed a tragic instance of situational irony when it got here to John F. Kennedy’s homicide.

Proper earlier than his assassination, a city official stated to JFK, “Mr. President, you possibly can’t say that Dallas doesn’t love you.”

What occurred subsequent?

You guessed it.

“That was simply seconds earlier than there was a loud noise. I regarded again and knew one thing dangerous occurred,” stated the city official.

And the remainder, as they are saying, is historical past.

Examples of Irony in Actual Life

You realize that buddy that posts on social media about how they’re uninterested in social media

The irony right here is that you simply’d anticipate somebody who’s uninterested in social media to truly cease utilizing it, proper?

Wishful considering.

One other good instance of real-life irony is when an image of a faculty’s signal went viral as a result of it included a misspelled phrase — “We’re dedicated to excellense.”

The heavy irony right here is that you simply’d anticipate a faculty to proofread their very own signal.

Last level…

In 2019, a fireplace station in Lengthy Island caught on hearth. Fortunately no person was damage, however you wouldn’t have anticipated that to occur to a fireplace station.

irony examples ironic news firehouse burns down

The Hearth Division’s Chief, Joseph Pesale stated, “That is one thing we do every day and it occurred to us.”

Now that we’ve lined the fundamentals, that brings us to the million-dollar query…

Why Use Irony?

I imply, it’s not that large of a deal, proper?

Not fairly.

Irony is a robust software that engages your readers and will get them hooked the identical manner artful metaphors and alluring alliteration make your writing sparkle.

Give it some thought like this.

As your storyline is unfolding, your reader is questioning:

Will the character uncover the key we’re already aware of? 

What’ll occur as soon as they determine it out? 

Wait…what in the event that they discover out too late?

See what you simply did?

You provoked curiosity in your reader.

Even higher?

You’re encouraging your reader to hope, anticipate, or worry the second the place the character learns the reality.

However that’s not all.

Irony is a superb solution to create a plot twist in your story.

As a result of let’s face it:

Everybody enjoys a shock, particularly if it’s accomplished effectively.

A great plot twist forces your readers to mull it over of their heads and talk about it with others. Years later, the reader should still reminisce concerning the sudden twist that caught them off guard.

Take into consideration how Shakespeare gave us the last word plot twist in Romeo and Juliet.

You wouldn’t have anticipated a love story to truly develop into a tragedy.

And that’s one of many causes — a whole bunch of years later — that Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is likely one of the most iconic performs of all time.

As a result of when irony works, it so works.

Able to Take These Irony Examples and Run with Them?

Let me ask you:

What makes you a superb author?

You’ve in all probability heard the recommendation to put in writing and browse recurrently.

And that’s stable writing recommendation.

However you possibly can’t cease there. As writers, you and I are combating for consideration in a distracted world.

That’s why it’s much more necessary to seize your reader’s consideration with each sentence and hold them coming again for extra.

So phrase to the sensible:

Don’t keep away from utilizing this literary method as a result of different writers use it with such frequency.

Different writers use irony as a result of it really works.

It is best to, too.

The publish 20 Irony Examples You Don’t Want (As a result of You’re the Skilled) appeared first on Good Blogger.


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