updated 2 months ago

Dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet. Name its main elements and give a few examples from the play. Explain how dramatic irony influences the readers regarding your examples.

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1 Answer
updated 2 months ago

Dramatic irony is a well-known figure of speech mostly used by storytellers in their plays. It is the author’s device to create a situation when a reader finds out about some events, thoughts or solutions before they are revealed to the main characters of the story. This Shakespeare’s masterpiece has several elements of dramatic irony. For instance, in the prologue in Act I, an author shows the readers that the young lovers are condemned to death. Yet, no one can forsee such a tragic fate. A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;/Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows/ Doth, with their death, bury their parents’ strife. This information implies that Juliet and Romeo will fall in love after they meet. Unfortunately, a couple will face death under the pressure of circumstances.

In the second scene of Act II, Juliet doesn’t guess that her beloved is listening to her when she addresses him thinking he is not around. In this example, Juliet creates the dramatic irony effect whereas Romeo joins the audience observing the Juliet’s monologue. O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? We can observe another example of dramatic irony in the same Act and Scene. Juliet tries to warn Romeo about the impending danger but he doesn’t listen to her. The readers can only guess what she actually means saying, Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye/ Than twenty of their swords! Look thou but sweet, / And I am proof against their enmity. Nevertheless, this part confirms that the couple is already doomed but they both fight for their love without any idea that they are destined to lose in the end.