Macbeth Situational Irony Analysis

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Macbeth is the story of a man whose ambitions have brought him to commit treason and murder. There is irony and symbolism in the play, which contribute to the acceptance of this masterpiece. Three forms of irony are evident in Macbeth: dramatic irony, being the difference between what the audience sees and what the characters believe to be true; verbal irony, the difference between what is said and what is meant; and situational irony, the difference between what actually happens and what is expected. A theatergoer witnessing a performance of Macbeth may develop presumptions about what is actually true and what is actually a truth. When it is contrary to what the character in the play believes to be true, a dramatic irony occurs. This is evident…show more content…
I. iii. 65-68) Often times among soothsayers, prophets, and seers there lays an element of vagueness and double-talk. The witches are without exception in their scenes. Aside from dramatic and verbal forms of irony, situational irony is present in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. There is the mysterious appearance of a third murderer in Act III, scene iii. This occurrence is not unusual when considering Shakespeare's use of the symbolic number "three" throughout the play. The strongest evidence of situational irony is unmistakably the way in which the strange sisters' prophecies unfold. Macbeth is given the illusion of immortality when the second apparition tells him that he will not fall to harm. This illusion is amplified with the third apparition's promise: 3. App. Macbeth shall never vanquish'd be until Great Birnan wood to high Dunsinane hill Shall come against him. (Macbeth. IV, I, 92-94) Shakespeare, in this case, is not only surprising the characters with the outcome of these prophesies, but also the audience. Macbeth believes he is to be victorious, but the audience knows his failure will be inevitable. However, the viewers are oblivious of the outcome. The cumulative irony is that of the weird sisters telling Macbeth exactly what he wishes to

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