Situational- find them in a situation they did not want to be in
Dramatic- reader knows something the character doesn’t
These deeds must not be thought after these ways; so, it will make us mad.
1. Act 1 Scene 4, line 50; the witches hail Macbeth, “thane of Cawdor!”
Dramatic irony: At this point, Macbeth is unaware that the king has conferred this honor upon him because of his valor in battle, so he attributes his fortune to the witches’ prophecy. However, the audience knows Duncan made the pronouncement in Act 1, Scene 3. (David Schlachter)
Purpose: This dramatic irony is to show Macbeth’s belief that the witches speak the truth and are responsible for his success. This belief does, influence his future actions.
2. Act 1, Scene 6, line 1, Duncan says, “This castle hath a pleasant seat”
Dramatic irony: When Duncan reaches the castle, he feels safe and welcome at the home of his loyal friends. However, the audience is aware that he may be killed that very night. It is also ironic that he calls the castle “a pleasant seat”, when it’s the place where he is eventually murdered.
Purpose: This irony is to add to suspense. Since the audience knows more than the character, the audience is positioned to wait for the character to gain awareness.
3. Act III, Scene ii, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth were discussing their feelings about being king and queen of Scotland after the murder. Said Lady Macbeth, “Nought’s had, all’s spent. Where our desire is not without content: ’Tis safer to be that which we destroy than, by destruction, dwell in doubtful joy.”
4. Act III, Scene I Macbeth said of the witches and the murder, “For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered; put rancours in the vessel of my peace only for them; and mine eternal jewel given to the common enemy of man.”
Purpose: In those sentences, we can see the irony in the witches’ prophecies. The implied meaning of the witches’ prophecies