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Word Count: 544
Verbal irony is a statement in which the meaning that a speaker implies differs sharply from the meaning that is ostensibly expressed The ironic statement usually involves the explicit expression of one attitude or evaluation but with indications in the overall speech-situation that the speaker intends a very different and often opposite attitude or evaluation Dramatic irony involves a situation in a play or narrative in which the audience or reader shares with the author knowledge of present or future circumstances of which a character is ignorant in that situation the character unknowingly acts in a way we recognize to be grossly inappropriate to the actual circumstances or expects the opposite of what we know that fate holds in store or says something that anticipates the actual outcome but not at all in the way that the character intends Structural irony occurs when a double level of meaning is continued throughout a work by means of some inherent feature such as a hero narrator or persona who is either naive or fallible a participant in the story whose judgment is impaired by prejudice personal interests or limited knowledge In studying Nathaniel Hawthornes work The Scarlet Letter it is difficult for me to directly categorize the irony that I see present in the novel For one thing I find it very ironic that it is the priest that committed adultery One would thing that in general and especially in this puritanical society with its rigid morals and unyielding values a priest would feel more than sworn to uphold his duties as a religious leader However Hawthorne chooses to portray him as human and fallible above all else I sort of think of irony as being a contradiction Either to what the audience expects or what a character expects Another example of irony that I see in The Scarlet Letter is the fact that Hester believes that she is helping the Rev Dimmesdale by keeping their
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