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Irony in crucible

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Irony in The Crucible
Irony is a contrast between what is stated and what is meant, or between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. The Crucible is a play by the American playwright Arthur Miller, and is filled with examples of irony throughout the play to build suspense and create anxiety. Arthur Miller used three kinds of irony, and they are dramatic, situational, and verbal irony. The Crucible is filled with many examples for each kind of irony through the play.

The dramatic irony Occurs when a reader knows more about a situation or a character in the story than the characters do. One of the many examples of dramatic irony is when Elizabeth is asked to tell the truth about John being an adulterer. Later on the play, Elizabeth is accused of being a witch and John goes to court to prove Abigail is lying. When John does try to prove Abigail is lying, he ends up confessing that he committed adultery with Abigail. Then the judges bring in Elizabeth to tell the truth whether John had an affair or not.

John had said that Elizabeth is a very honest woman who would never lie, but for the sake of her husband’s name, she lies when it was the only time she should not lie, and says John was not an adulterer, proving he should not be taking seriously in the court. John Proctor did indeed have an affair and Elizabeth also knew because she discharged Abigail from her service after finding about the affair.

The situational irony is a contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually does happen. The example of situational irony is when Reverend Hale told John to say the Ten Commandments and John forgot the last one, which just so happened to be the one he broke, which was adultery. Elizabeth was the one to remind him that adultery was the one he forgot. The situational irony there is that John has literally forgotten that one. The verbal irony occurs when someone states one thing and means another, and is often recognized as sarcasm. The example of verbal irony is when John Proctor admits in open court that he is an adulterer.

Although he convinced the court that he committed adultery, it was not enough to save his life from being killed as a witch. The court wanted him to state that he is a witch and sign a statement. John Proctor tells them that he already admitted himself as an adulterer and finally he verbally says that he is a witch, but without the signature it meant nothing. He dies because he refused to sign. His feeling is that he has already confessed before God and that means more to him than their written statement because he does not believe another man has the right to judge him.

There are many examples of irony throughout the play The Crucible, and they build suspense and create anxiety through the story.

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