Irony in Pride and Prejudice

By: Tori Ackley, Lauren Hansen, Andrew Solomons

Dramatic Irony

Dramatic irony is the one where the audience or reader knows and understands what is going to happen but the characters do not. We see most of this irony at the beginning. The main example was knowing that Darcy liked Elizabeth but she did not know this. He made comments to other characters but not her. The reader knew that Darcy liked Elizabeth and was very fond of her but she did not. Their love for each other goes up and down and they do not know their feelings for each other but the readers do.

Verbal Irony

Verbal irony is the opposite of what someone says . There are many examples of this in the book. First of all Mr. Bennet always says sarcastic things to his wife about various topics. Elizabeth also made comments on Mr. Darcy that seemed nice but she obviously meant the opposite because she did not like him at first. One example was when she said "Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing, after all". This is a perfect example of how much verbal irony was in this novel. All of the characters used a lot of sarcasm in throughout the book. It showed a lot how woman were not treated very well.

Situational Irony

Situational Irony have an effect opposite to what was intended. In the novel we see several characters use it. Elizabeth would be one of them because she hates Darcy but he loves her in the beginning. Elizabeth did not like him at first because he had far too much pride being a male and with his social status. Another example was Mr. Collins. He was never intended to go and marry anyone. He first asks Elizabeth but she declines and than Charlotte Lucas. She ends up saying yes and he is shocked. This showed just how low men in this novel could be that they were just looking for a wife not someone they actually loved.