Dramatic Irony In Macbeth

  • Category: English
  • Words: 552
  • Grade: 83
Dramatic Irony in Macbeth

        Dramatic Irony is a technique or skill of writing used by all great authors. Shakespeare is no exception. Dramatic Irony is when the author has a contradiction between what characters of the play do, and what the reader knows will happen. It keeps the reader or the viewer interested in the happenings of the story or play. Dramatic Irony is effectively used in Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth throughout the play. When King Duncan talks so highly of Macbeth or the situation at the banquet between Macbeth and Banquo. These two parts of the play are where Dramatic Irony has its greatest effect over the audience.

        Dramatic Irony is something that may be used in many different areas of the entertainment world. It is something that all authors, directors, and actors must be able to do successfully for it to have its fullest affect. It is especially important in plays where the author/director really needs to make the audience feel as though they really understand what is going on within the play. If not used properly all it does is confuse people more as to what is happening in the play. If used effectively an author/director can keep his/her audience interested, which in turn is the main goal. When an actor in a play reveals plans on something like a murder which only the audience is aware of it makes the audience feel important. It makes them feel as though one of the characters has opened up to them. When later in the play this actor invites his intended victim to go somewhere alone this triggers a switch in all of the viewers' heads. They understand the actor's intentions, this is Dramatic Irony. The first major use of Dramatic Irony within Macbeth is when Duncan talks so highly of Macbeth not knowing Macbeth's plan to murder him and take over his kingship.


        The first major use of Dramatic Irony in the play occurs between Macbeth and Duncan. A critical part of this play is Duncan's weakness in character judgement. This becomes apparent early in the first scene. After the audience becomes aware of thoughts that have entered Macbeth's mind to possibly kill Duncan he says "There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face. He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust. " (I, IV). This is extremely dramatic especially when it is followed by the entry of Macbeth to the stage. Another time Dramatic Irony is used with these two characters is after the audience becomes aware of Macbeth's plan to kill Duncan in his castle. When Duncan sees the castle he starts speaking ver highly of it, "This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air nimbly and sweetly recommends itself unto our gentle senses." (I, VI). The reason this is Dramatic Irony is due to the audience already being aware of Macbeth's intentions to possibly kill Duncan, and at the same time Duncan himself having no clue as to what is going on. Shakespeare was aware that this was the main theme within the play so he made sure he kept the audience involved for it.
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