Dramatic Irony on Macbeth

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Dramatic Irony on Macbeth

By | December 2012
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Dramatic Irony in Macbeth
Introduction: William Shakespeare effectively uses dramatic irony to intrigue the reader and deepen the impact of the consequences Macbeth ultimately faces. Dramatic Irony Definition: Dramatic Irony is a literary term that defines a situation in the play where the reader knows more than the character does. Thesis: Throughout the play Macbeth, the reader is given the advantage of knowing more things than the characters in the play through the literary device, dramatic irony. This results in suspense and heightens the flaws of the characters. Background Knowledge:

Point #1- Witches lie to Macbeth: Quote: “All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor”! – Second Witch (Act 1 Scene 3). This is ironic because Macbeth does not actually know that King Duncan has already made him the Thane of Cawdor. This is meaningful due to the fact that it makes Macbeth trust the witches. It relates to villainous nature because the witches have their evil schemes all planned out beforehand. This is significant because Macbeth needs to be the Thane of Cawdor so that he can have the King sleep in his castle to fulfill their prophecy. Point #2- Macbeth wears a mask: Quote: “There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. He was a gentleman on who, I built an absolute trust.” – King Duncan (Act 1 Scene 4). The irony in this extract is made obvious when King Duncan, a noble and truthful king, trusts the Thane of Cawdor, and immediately after he says this- Macbeth enters. Shakespeare presents dramatic irony to the audience when Macbeth enters the room. Duncan is talking about trust and this is ironic because Macbeth will ultimately kill King Duncan. Macbeth’s duplicity is displayed when Duncan greets Macbeth by saying “O worthiest cousin” to which he responds “the service and loyalty I owe in doing it pays itself.

Point #3- Macbeth wishing Banquo safety on his journey: Quote: “This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air nimbly and sweetly...
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