Dramatic Irony on Macbeth

1222 words 5 pages
Dramatic Irony in Macbeth
Introduction: William Shakespeare effectively uses dramatic irony to intrigue the reader and deepen the impact of the consequences Macbeth ultimately faces.
Dramatic Irony Definition: Dramatic Irony is a literary term that defines a situation in the play where the reader knows more than the character does.
Thesis: Throughout the play Macbeth, the reader is given the advantage of knowing more things than the characters in the play through the literary device, dramatic irony. This results in suspense and heightens the flaws of the characters.
Background Knowledge:
Point #1- Witches lie to Macbeth: Quote: “All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor”! – Second Witch (Act 1 Scene 3).
This is ironic
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Although, Lady Macbeth speaks to how she would rather be killed than be the killer. The irony is that Lady Macbeth, the original killer of Duncan (person who convinced Macbeth) now hates killing, but Macbeth, the originally feeble one now loves it. It relates to evil genius by highlighting that Macbeth will not let anyone, not even his best friend, stop him in his insatiable quest of power. Shakespeare has done this to position the audience to further hate Macbeth.
Point #6- Witches fool Macbeth for the second time: Quote: “Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until Great Birnham wood to high Dunsinian Hill shall come against him.”- Witches (Act 4 Scene 1).
The witches are stating that Macbeth will always be king, until the day that the trees of Great Birnham wood march up to Dunsinian Hill, and that day will almost certainly never come true. This is very much ironic due to the fact that Macduff was able to kill Macbeth because he did not have a natural “woman born” birth. The witches have made a very ironic prophecy.
Point #7- Lady Macduff lies to her son: Quote: “Son: Was my father a traitor, Mother, Lady Macduff: Ay, that he was, Son: What is a traitor, Lady Macduff: Why one that swears and lies”. (Act 4 Scene 2).
This scene is between Lady Macduff and her son when Macduff has “run off” to England. This scene displays dramatic irony because while Lady Macduff is telling her son that his father is a traitor and liar, Macduff


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