Situational Irony In Othello

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Irony in Othello: The Truth and Reality The term irony is used when there is an intention opposite to what is stated. Irony is very widely used in Shakespeare because his tragedies heighten the dramatic plot of his plays. Irony can foreshadow future events and develop plot twists. In the play, Othello, Irony is frequently used to add tension and amusement to keep the audience interested. It also aids in foreshadowing Othello’s tragic ending. Othello displays Irony in three different methods using situational irony, verbal irony and dramatic irony to highlight the suspense and maintain interest in the play. Situational irony is when the outcome of an action turns out to be the opposite of what was expected. There are numerous cases of situational…show more content…
In the midst of his anger, Barbantio warns Othello that if Desdemona has betrayed him, it is possible for her to betray and lie to Othello as well. To this, Othello responds, “My life upon her faith!”(1.3.291). Othello believes in Desdemona’s loyalty so much that he would give up his life if she was untrue. This is ironic because Othello is quickly fooled by Iago into believing that Desdemona has cheated on him with his Lieutenant, Cassio. This develops intense jealousy within Othello which eventually leads to not only Desdemona being murdered by her beloved, but also to Othello taking his own life. Thus, this situational irony deepens the tragedy of Othello because it is emphasizing how much Othello trusts his wife in the beginning of the play. Another case of situational irony would be when Iago pretends to be worried about Othello and advises him to be cautious of jealousy. Othello scoffs at this and says, “Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy/to follow still the changes of the moon/with fresh suspicions?”(3.3.179-181). Here, Othello thinks that he would never live a life obsessing over his suspicions every hour of the day. However, this is ironic because when Iago convinces him that Desdemona is cheating on him, the thought…show more content…
The first example of dramatic irony in Othello is when Emilia assures Cassio that his position as lieutenant is safe. However, he still insists to speak to Desdemona because of his worry, “Yet I beseech you…/Give me advantage of some brief discourse/With Desdemona alone.”(3.2.49-52) this results to Cassio falling right into Iago’s trap because, as us readers know, Iago plans to get Cassio caught speaking to Desdemona to slowly arise suspicion in Othello. If Cassio would have left it alone and confided in Emilia’s words of advice, his chances of not being trapped in Iago’s web would have been less. This is ironic because since Cassio insists on talking to Desdemona, the conversation in-between them seems suspicious to Othello, which provides proof to the stories Iago is telling him. However, the audience knows that Cassio’s approach to Desdemona is completely innocent because he is concerned about his position as Lieutenant. This dramatic irony heightens the intensity of how Cassio becomes captured in Iago’s web. Another case of dramatic irony is how Cassio is bold and charming towards Desdemona when the ships arrive to Cyprus. He praises Desdemona excessively and goes as far as kissing her hand. This pleases Iago greatly because there is proof now, in public, of Cassio and Desdemona being a little too friendly, “Ay, well said, whisper/With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly

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