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Standard 3.8 Interpret and evaluate the impact of ambiguities, subtleties, contradictions, ironies, and incongruities. Irony. Number of Questions.
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The literary response and analysis section of the CAHSEE contains 20 multiple choice questions.There are two questions on the CAHSEE that ask questions regarding your understanding of standard 3.8
Understanding irony within the text allows you to better understand the deeper meaning--the humor, the tragedy--of the piece
statement or situation.
There are 3 different types of irony:
Verbal irony happens when a character says one thing but means the opposite.
Tips: Usually verbal irony also has an ironic tone.
For example, in Julius Caesar, Mark Antony repeats the words "and Brutus is an honorable man" in the famous “Friends, Romans, countrymen” speech. Mark Antony’s meaning, however, is that Brutus is completely dishonorable because Brutus, Caesar’s best friend, joined the other conspirators and plunged a knife into Caesar’s chest.
Note: Verbal irony may be confused with sarcasm, but sarcasm is harsh and direct, while verbal irony is implied.
Situational irony- when what happens in the story is the opposite of what is expected to occur.
In Guy de Maupassant’s story “The Necklace” the main character works for years to replace an expensive necklace she borrowed and lost only to learn years later that the necklace was a fake.
What makes this situation ironic?
Dramatic irony- happens when the reader has information that one or more of the characters does not have.
Tip: Dramatic irony involves more than just spoken words.
In Othello, dramatic irony occurs when Othello refers to Iago as “honest Iago.” Unknown to Othello, Iago is a villain who deceives him into thinking that Desdemona (Othello’s wife) has been unfaithful. For this, Othello unjustly kills his wife, believing the whole time in Iago’s honesty.
(The audience knows the situation better than the character in the play--and feels the agony as an onlooker.)
Note the difference in examples for verbal and dramatic irony:
Antony calls Brutus “honorable” and knows he is not honorable, while Othello calls Iago “honest” and does not know of Iago’s deceit, his dishonesty.