Dramatic Irony in “Romeo and Juliet”

The mockery is one of the favorite modes in the theatre. Its potential lies in the very fact of imitation because it includes a contrast between actual and imaginary realities. Nothing could be more ordinary in a play than a context when a person is mistaken for another one. Dramatic irony becomes brighter if the superior knowledge of the viewer is shared by one of the performance’s heroes, especially if a victim does not suspect his or her presence on the stage.

Shakespeare varies mockery during all play. It is found as funny, intriguing and, ultimately, tragic. Its goal is as long as possible to keep the audience's attention to what is happening on the stage through an inconspicuous transition from ridiculous cases to serious things. The tense atmosphere is maintained due to the realization that words and operations of main figures have a completely different meaning for the reader than for them.

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One of the first ironic scenes is the conversation between Tybalt and Romeo when the first participant demands to show him grounds for sympathy for his opponent. Unlike Tybalt, spectators know that young man is married to Juliet, which means they are one family. An absence of ignorance and hatred could prevent a chain of sad events. Dramatic irony is also evident in the prologue, where a plot and the play’s ending are revealed. So, an author creates some presence of fate, which, despite all efforts, prepared death for lovers instead of happiness and domestic peace.

Even the scene of an acquaintance at the masquerade is filled with satire. Romeo and Juliet fall in love before they comprehend own belonging to hostile clans. The priest's good intentions through their marriage to get over with enmity also turned into an absolute opposite. Perhaps Shakespeare tried once again to emphasize the power of divine providence and human's weakness before heaven.

A classic example is the death scene of Juliet. The author gave us to grasp that a girl will come to life in a few days. Uncertain Romeo immediately returns home, having received such tragic news. Along the way, he encounters Paris, feeding an unrequited love for the principal heroine, and kills him because of false assumptions. Believing that his beloved is dead, a youngster without delay makes a decision to drink poison to reunite with Juliet. So, a combination of cosmic and personal mockery led to the loss of three human lives.

Thus, thanks to dramatic irony, a viewer perceives elements of intrigue hidden from the personage and do not allow the latter to act with the competence of the matter. A joke in a similar sense is extremely tragic because spectators constantly feel superior to the stage action. Irony plays the role of an element of exclusion, which destroys a theatrical illusion and encourages us not to perceive the play’s upkeep literally.

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