Verbal irony happens while a speaker speaks some thing contradictory to what he intends to say. It is an intentional made from the speaker, and is contradictory to his/her feelings and actions. To define it simply, it happens when a character uses a statement with underlying meanings that evaluation with its literal meaning; it indicates that the writer has used verbal irony. Writers rely upon the audience’s intelligence for discerning the hidden meanings they intend to convey. Writers additionally use ironic similes to carry exactly the alternative of what they intend to say, such as “tender as concrete.”
Types of Verbal Irony
Exaggeration or Overstatement
Examples of Verbal Irony from Literature
Example #1: Romeo & Juliet (By William Shakespeare)
“Again and again he attempted after the tempting morsel, however at remaining had to deliver it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: ‘I am sure they may be sour.’ ”
“I will not marry yet; and, when I do, I swear it shall be Romeo, whom I hate, in place of Paris.”
Juliet does now not like the selection of her father to marry with Paris, whom she dislikes and as a substitute adores Romeo. Hence, she makes a selection to marry Romeo and tells her mother approximately it sarcastically that on every occasion she might marry, it would be Romeo – whom she dislikes – and not Paris, as a result puzzling her mother.
Example #2: Pride & Prejudice (By Jane Austen)
“She is tolerable however no longer handsome enough to tempt me.”
We can locate many best examples of verbal irony in Pride and Prejudice. In this instance, we appreciate ironic flavor of Darcy’s announcement, as we later discover that the female he observed unsuitable to bop with, ends up taking an area in his heart.
Example #3: The Unknown Citizen (By W. H. Auden)
The name of the poem, The Unknown Citizen, employs verbal irony, because the poet describes someone whom all of us knows, yet he is nonetheless unknown. Also, by way of intentionally capitalizing common words, the speaker makes them sound meaningless, ironic, and sarcastic: “the Greater Community,” “Social Psychology,” “Union,” “Public Opinion,” and “High Grade Living.” All of those phrases sound formal, pompous, bureaucratic, and arrogant. Simply, via verbal irony, the poet shows how governmental agencies, which have to serve human beings, have alternatively enslaved them.
Example #4: Oedipus Rex (By Sophocles)
“You are all ignorant. I will not reveal the troubling things inner me, which I can call your grief as well.”
“Do you intend to betray me and break the city?”
All varieties of ironies are prevalent for the duration of the entire play, Oedipus Rex. One pleasant instance of verbal irony takes place while Tiresias refuses to show the prophecy to Oedipus.
In fact, Oedipus has misunderstood Tiresias’ statement, “… which I can name your grief as well.” By this, Tiresias manner that, if he well-knownshows the truth, it would become Oedipus’ grief that he is the assassin of his king, Laius. This is a verbal irony which Oedipus fails to recognise that this “grief” goes to be an impending fate for him.
Example #5: A Modest Proposal (By Jonathan Swift)
“I alternatively endorse shopping for the youngsters alive and dressing them warm from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.”
Verbal irony is a dominant literary tool in this novel by using Swift. For instance, in the above statement the author intends to point out that the government ought to now not treat Irish people like animals. In irony, he compares the Irish to animals.
Example #6: Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (By Lemony Snicket)
“Today was a totally cold and bitter day, as cold and sour as a cup of warm chocolate; if the cup of hot chocolate had vinegar introduced to it and were positioned in a fridge for numerous hours.”
Snicket makes use of verbal irony with the aid of using ironic simile. Then, he proceeds to break down this simile, by way of overturning its meaning. By making a complex structure, the author creates verbal irony to allow readers enjoy.
Functions of Verbal Irony
Verbal irony is very commonplace in ordinary speech, plays, novels, and poetry, and normally occurs in the shape of sarcasm. It depends upon timing and appropriate occasions to obtain its effect. Verbal irony develops funny and dramatic situations. Through verbal irony, writers and poets can bring their sour messages indirectly, in a much less bitter and more effective way. It makes a literary piece more effective through provoking readers into analyzing and thinking tougher about a situation. By contrasting and comparing suppositions with reality, the readers can better understand the author’s intent.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw