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Word Count: 995
Dramatic irony depends on the audiences knowing something that a character has not yet realized or on one characters knowing something that other characters do not know It is a crucial literary tool used by authors poets and playwrights in some of the most famous stories ever told Dramatic irony can serve many purposes It can build suspense excitement and allows for a crucial climax It makes the audience more involved in the story and in touch with the characters Two examples of dramatic irony can be found in Sophocles Oedipus the King and in Henrik Ibsen A Doll House These are two drastically different stories yet both Oedipus the King and A Doll House incorporate dramatic as a significant part of each story The story of Oedipus is a well-known tale The protagonist is the famous mythical man who is destined to kill his own father and marry his mother This is a Greek myth known long before Sophocles dramatized it This entails that the audience is already aware of the outcome However Oedipus is not Oedipus does not know that he is the one responsible for the murder of king Laius Nor does he know that King Laius is his natural father And he does not know that he has wed his mother This is common knowledge to the audience thus the audience knows more than the protagonist does J Michael Walton states in his overview of Oedipus the King that The unusual structure of Oedipus the King gives one reason for its abiding popularity All the significant action has already taken place before the play begins 52 In A Doll House the dramatic irony takes on a slightly different form In this story not only does the audience become aware of something that another character does not know but other characters are aware of circumstances that another character does not know of The main character Nora borrowed money years ago under false
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