What is dramatic irony and is it ever present in different plays from different cultures?
Irony is a literary technique used to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
In dramatic irony the words and actions used posess a meaning that the audience understands but the character does not therefore resulting in an amusing and comedic situation for the audience to watch.
There are many different types of irony which can also vary according to the countries from which they come from, who may have different customs and a different sense of humour.
I will start my examples of dramatic irony in ancient Greece, the cradle of theatre as we know it today. Two thousand four hundred years ago, in the ellenic peninsula there came to be what was seen as a complete outpour of human creativity.
Among all the great inventions of the people of Greece was the Theatre; competitions were held among writers, of whom the most relevant were Aeschilus, Sophocles and Euripides who devoted their lives to writing plays in the forms of comedies and tragedies, using their superb rhetoric capabilities to express ironic situations.
Studying these plays is a very interesting exercise because the main thing the reader notices is that much, if not all, of the irony is incredibly up-to date and relevant even in our modernized society, bringing to life dialogues that were written more than two thousand years ago.
In the play "Oedipus Rex" by Sophocles, there are many examples of dramatic irony, in fact the whole play rotates around it. The main "ironic theme" is the fact that Teirisias, the blind prophet, ended up being the one who could "see" Oedipus' future more than Oedipus could, even though he was actually physically blind as opposed to Oedipus who ignored his cruel fate for fear of discovering the horrible truth.
In this case Sophocles plays on the physical meaning of being blind and the underlying...