Sunday, July 26, 2015

Shakespeare's Literary Technique #1: Dramatic Irony #shakespearesunday

Usually understood as speech whose meaning and impact is clearer to the audience or reader than it is to the speaker.

A.W. Verity goes further, in  a direction I like: The essential idea of "irony" is double dealing, as when some speech has a double meaning -- the obvious one which all perceive -- and the cryptic which only certain of the hearers understand.  

Example:

AS YOU LIKE IT (iv. 3): Rosalind, disguised as a young man, faints at the sight of blood. Oliver chides her:

Oliver. Be of good cheer, youth: you a man! you lack a man's heart .
Rosalind. I do so. I confess it. Ah, sirrah, a body would think
this was well counterfeited! I pray you, tell your brother how well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho!