Irony (from the Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning dissimulation or feigned ignorance) is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is an incongruity between the literal and the implied meaning....The funny thing about irony (and sarcasm) is that there are so many people who are irony-deficient. They just don't get it. They seem to be incapable of recognizing anything other than the literal meaning of a statement. Look at the example given in the Wikipedia article (right figure). Then look at yesterday's Jesus and Mo cartoon (below). Both are excellent examples of intended irony.
In dramatic irony, the author causes a character to speak or act erroneously, out of ignorance of some portion of the truth of which the audience is aware. In other words, the audience knows the character is making a mistake, even as the character is making it. This technique highlights the importance of a particular truth by portraying a person who is strikingly unaware of it.
Thursday, January 31, 2013