Dramatic Irony in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

Dramatic Irony in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

Length: 800 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Shakespeare uses irony to great effect in his many plays, specifically dramatic irony, and some cosmic irony, in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. But why does he use it? What is he trying to achieve or portray? It varies throughout the play, but there are general trends as the story develops. In the beginning we see that it is almost comical uses. The irony then develops into more interesting and intriguing uses meant to keep the audience, especially the groundlings, interested and wanting more. And then finally, he uses dramatic irony to point out some of the reasons why this is a tragedy during and before the climax.
In the beginning you see irony without much apparent consequence, which can be seen as amusing in some views and helped to draw people in. Some examples of this would be Romeo and Juliet talks to each other and fall in ?love? before realizing that their parents apparently hate each other. Another example is when Juliet?s nurse comes to talk to Romeo about Juliet, and the friends of Romeo mock her thinking her another stranger. Both of these and other ironies in the opening acts are meant to be entertaining and to keep the groundlings happy, along with other factors, while at the same time setting the stage for the play to become a tragedy, and slowly starting to shift to a more depth as the play progresses.
In the center, specifically act three you see the use of irony to be more serious, often trying to lightly foreshadow and keep the audience interested. From Tybalt aggravating Mercutio and then Romeo with his death, after Romeo seemingly feels and professes ?love? for him due to his very recent secret marriage to Tybalt?s cousin, Juliet. Shortly after Tybalt?s death Romeo is banished due to his, a...


... middle of paper ...


...e party, to Romeo killing Tybalt right after marrying his cousin and talking about his love for Tybalt, to Laurence?s message about the plan being delayed due to a cruel twist of fate. Not only does Shakespeare use cosmic irony in this play, he makes the characters, especially Romeo again, put their faith in the gods who then appear to betray him with a list of unlucky coincidences that help lead to his downfall.
The use of irony has a great effect on the plot and characters in Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare managed to use dramatic irony for various purposes throughout the play that drastically help the build up of conflict, tension, and emotions. His use of cosmic irony after the protagonists put faith in fate adds a cruel twist into the story that helps to enrich the play and develop the characters. It is amazing how he manages to merge it all into the play.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Dramatic Irony in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

- William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a tragic story about two lovers who are from two disputing families, and their eventual suicides. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony throughout the play to create tension for the audience and foreshadow the ending. Dramatic irony is when the words or actions of characters in a story have a different meaning to the reader than to the characters. This is because the reader knows something that the characters do not. Romeo and Juliet’s death could have been prevented if the characters in the story weren’t so ignorant of their situations, and often times the reader recognizes this....   [tags: Literary Devices, Literary Tools]

Better Essays
874 words (2.5 pages)

Language and Dramatic Devices in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

- Language and Dramatic Devices in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Introduction Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is known as a love tragedy and features many rhymed verses, especially when Romeo and Juliet first speak. The plot is based on a true story, and takes place over three days. The play is about two teenagers, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, who fall deeply in love but their families are in constant dispute. The play ends in tragedy when Romeo and Juliet give their lives for one another....   [tags: Free Romeo and Juliet Essays]

Free Essays
734 words (2.1 pages)

Dramatic Irony in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

- Shakespeare uses irony to great effect in his many plays, specifically dramatic irony, and some cosmic irony, in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. But why does he use it. What is he trying to achieve or portray. It varies throughout the play, but there are general trends as the story develops. In the beginning we see that it is almost comical uses. The irony then develops into more interesting and intriguing uses meant to keep the audience, especially the groundlings, interested and wanting more....   [tags: William Shakespeare]

Better Essays
800 words (2.3 pages)

The Dramatic Impact of Act 3 Scene 5 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

- The Dramatic Impact of Act 3 Scene 5 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet In act 3 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare has written a dramatic and important scene, as this is the beginning of the breakdown of Juliet. Shakespeare reminds the audience that this is a romantic tragedy because Romeo has to leave Verona because he kills JulietÂ’s cousin Tybalt. Juliet is upset because she may never see him again. This is a turning point in the play. The structure of the scene is very important....   [tags: Free Romeo and Juliet Essays]

Free Essays
594 words (1.7 pages)

Dramatic Tension in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Essay

- Dramatic Tension in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet is one of William Shakespeare's most famous plays, and was written by the Bard around the end of the sixteenth century. Though in actually fact, Romeo and Juliet was not an original story. Elizabethan audiences would not have expected fresh stories all the time, but "modern" adaptations of classic stories. Romeo and Juliet's plot dates back much further than the late 16th century, but existed in variations, such as Pyrimus and Thisbe, that were adapted and re-written by Shakespeare....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1219 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Dramatic Tension in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

- Dramatic Tension in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet There are many reasons for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. For example, fate, the feud, domineering fathers, adolescent passion, Friar Lawrence, Friar John for failing to deliver the letter, or was the tragedy caused by love itself. This creates tension because, although the audience is omnipotent they never quite know what will happen next, or who will be held responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare creates dramatic tension with his creation of the characters and the language he uses pertaining to love, hate and fear....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1299 words (3.7 pages)

Dramatic Moments in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essays

- Dramatic Moments in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet The last scene in 'Romeo and Juliet' is full of dramatic interest. This scene excites an already anxious audience, who by now are desperate to discover the fate of these 'star-crossed lovers'. In this final scene the depth of Romeo and Juliet's love for each other is confirmed when it is realised that they are truly prepared to die rather than live without each other. Nonetheless, Shakespeare keeps his audience guessing and hoping to the end....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

The Dramatic Impact of the Friar in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

- The Dramatic Impact of the Friar in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet In this essay, the role of Friar Lawrence and his dramatic impact on the story will be discussed. I will discuss on how Friar Lawrence, behaves different and the same as a stereotypical holy man. Friar Lawrence shows many different roles during the play, both positive and negative. He has a spiritual and parental influence on Romeo and Juliet, even more so that Lawrence is shown closer with a better bond with Romeo than his actual father Montague....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
714 words (2 pages)

Dramatic Tension in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

- Dramatic Tension in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet 'Romeo and Juliet' die as a direct consequence of the war and feuding within their society. The main themes in the play; fate, feuds, domineering fathers, and adolescent passion, coincide with the fatal mistakes each character makes contributing to the tragedy at the end of the play. The audience never quite knows what to expect and the fortuitous events create dramatic tension between the characters and the audience....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1233 words (3.5 pages)

Dramatic Effects in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

- Dramatic Effects in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet In the play Shakespeare creates dramatic effects to heighten emotions and actions of the characters. By using a range of dramatic devices Shakespeare can change the mood and setting of the play, this affects how the audience react, and emphasise points. These include dramatic irony for example, "I love thee more than canst devise". Romeo quoted here whilst replying to Tybalt in response to a fight....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
706 words (2 pages)