Irony

from Education Genius (Ft. Poetry Genius Editors & Rap Genius Editors) – Glossary of Poetic and Literary Terms on Rap Genius

Meaning

A humorous perception of inconsistency, in which an apparently straightforward statement or event is undermined by its context, giving it a different, or opposite, significance.

The three main types of irony are verbal, dramatic, and situational.

Verbal irony occurs when there’s a gap between what is said and what is meant, as in sarcasm, understatement, etc.

Dramatic irony occurs whenever we, the reader or audience, know something that a character or speaker doesn’t.

Situational irony occurs when there’s a gap between the expected and the actual outcome in a given situation.

An example of the third would be something like a firehouse burning down. The song “Ironic,” by Alanis Morrissette, is actually considered to be a rather poor depiction of this type of irony, as most of the situations it presents are comic or unfortunate but not strictly ironic.

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