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Author: Mary Rowan

CCSS.ELA.RL11.12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. 

This tutorial is for an eleventh grade English class. This tutorial is a review and in depth look at irony and its different forms. 

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Irony: verbal, dramatic, and situational

definitions and examples of verbal, dramatic, and situational irony

example of verbal irony from the movie, Mean Girls.

dramatic irony: explained

situational irony: explained

irony examples in literature

"The noble Brutus 
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious: 
If it were so, it was a grievous fault, 
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it. 
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest-- 
For Brutus is an honourable man; 
So are they all, all honourable men--"

Marc Antony's speech at Ceasar's funeral. He is praising Brutus, but actually chastising him.




Source: Shakespeare, William. Julius Ceasar. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1935. Print.

dramatic irony in literature

Romeo believes that Juliet is dead, but the audience knows that she is alive and in a deep sleep. Romeo kills himself and Juliet wakes up to see his dead body. The audience knows what is happening while the characters remain oblivious. 

situational irony in literature

In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus’s father only fulfills the prophecy of him being killed by his own son after trying to avoid it and sending him away. This represents situational irony because the effect of the action is the opposite from the intended actions.