Romeo and Juliet Dramatic Irony

873 Words4 Pages
Dramatic irony is a literary technique when the reader and/or other characters know something that other characters do not. In Romeo and Juliet, a play by William Shakespeare, there are many instances of dramatic irony, which enhance the plot of the play. In the prologue of Act I of Romeo and Juliet, much foreshadowing is given to the reader. In lines 5-6 (p.321), “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life”, the chorus tells the audience the Romeo and Juliet will eventually die. Lines 9-10, “The fearful passage of their death-marked love, and the continuance of their parents’ rage” further describe the lovers’ death by saying that it will be caused by their families. This is an example of dramatic irony because throughout the play, the reader knows what the outcome will be, whereas the characters of the play do not. For instance, when Romeo falls in love with Rosaline, the reader knows that this will not last because he will eventually fall in love with Juliet. Later, in Scene II of Act I, the servant is asked by Lord Capulet to inform the people written on his invitation list about the party. However, the servant cannot read, but encounters into Benvolio and Romeo. Not knowing that they are Montagues, he asks Romeo to read the invitation for him. This coincidence informs Benvolio and Romeo about the party, where Romeo meets Juliet and they fall in love with each other. Had the servant known that Benvolio and Romeo were Montagues, he would not have stopped to ask for help because of the ongoing feud between the Montagues and Capulets. In addition, dramatic irony also occurs at the Capulets’ party, when Romeo and Juliet meet each other and fall in love. However, Juliet does not know that Romeo is a Montague, and sees no harm in being with him. This leads to their uncontrollable love, and eventually
Open Document