Use of Irony in “The King Lear”

Introduction : Use of irony in The King Lear by William Shakespeare. It includes explanation of irony and its purpose of use in the drama with examples from the King Lear.

What does irony means?

“The contrast between appearance and reality is called irony“.  There are many types of irony like irony of dialogue, irony of situation and irony of character etc. What a character says and what he actually means? is the irony of dialogue. And what a character thinks himself and what he actually is? What he desires but what actually occurs? are the irony of character. Then what a character believes and what the readers know? What we had expected and what actually happens? are the irony of situations.

Why irony is used in King Lear?

Why the writers used irony in the plays or other kinds of literature? Actually irony intense the effect of tragedy or comedy. In tragedy irony served to heighten the tragic effect and in comedy it served to heighten the comic effect. In this play “King Lear” it is used to intensify both the effects according to their situations. Some times it Heightens the tragic effect and some times heightens the comic effect.

Use of irony in the King Lear

Goneril and Regan’s words for King Lear

Goneril says her father that he is dearer to her “than eyesight, space and liberty”. Regan says that all joys in life are meaningless to her beside the joy which her love for him. After division of kingdom we find that these  two daughters making the adverse comments for their father.

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