An Inspector Calls Essay

1759 WordsJan 15, 20128 Pages
Discuss the literary device of dramatic irony and the use made of it by J.B. Priestly in ‘An Inspector Calls’ An inspector calls was written in 1945 by J.B. Priestley and is set in 1912. J. B. Priestly has included a lot of dramatic irony; he uses it effectively to put forward the message of the play – community. Dramatic irony is the dramatic effect achieved by leading an audience to understand an incongruity between a situation and the accompanying speeches, while the characters in the play remain unaware of the incongruity (the free online dictionary). Another writer who uses dramatic irony effectively is William Shakespeare. One play in which Shakespeare uses dramatic irony often and to great effect is in Romeo and Juliet. Without the use of dramatic irony, the dramatic end to the play could never have occurred: ‘A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life; Whose misadventur’d piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife.’ This example of dramatic irony is taken from the chorus before the start of the play. After hearing the chorus, the audience knows the basic outline of the whole play, whereas the characters are left in the dark. Another example of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet is in Act 1 Scene 5 after the Capulet ball, when Juliet says to the nurse: ‘Go ask his name. – If he be married, My grave is like to be my wedding bed.’ Here, Juliet is saying that she will die if she cannot marry Romeo; however, the audience already knows that it is because she does marry Romeo that she ends up dying at the end of the play; ‘A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;’ Possibly the most obvious example of dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet is in act 5 scene 1 when Romeo, after being informed of Juliet’s death by Balthazar; ‘…Her body sleeps in Capels’ monument…’ Rushes to Juliet’s tomb so that he can die by her side’;

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