We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Verbal Irony

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

Irony is a strategy writers use to set contrast between what is supposed to be true and what is reality, just as in verbal irony, an author might say or write one thing and at the same time mean the complete opposite. In the story by Frank R. Stockton “The Lady, or the Tiger?” the author used verbal irony to help us realize the absurdity of the king’s idea of judgment and the real intentions and ideas of other characters.

Several ironic statements are presented in the story. Sentence fragments such as “… did not the accused person have the whole matter in his own hands?” include verbal irony. Regardless of the fact that you may assume it to be true, that the accused person indeed is given option, that he during his trial can open either door, that he can decide his own path, concluding that he does have the matter in his own hands, still, even though he is given choice, his choice does not fully depend on his deeds in life, nor does it depend on the crime that was done by him, it is a chance that the accused is supposed to take. He cannot know what is hidden behind each of the doors (he only knows that behind one of the doors is a tiger, and behind the other is the lady.). He may’ve not been in such situation at all if he really has had the alternative. Indeed, the king is forcing the accused to be judged this way.

May be if the king may’ve not been the judge in this matter, accused will rather prefer to be released, but he cannot decide that for himself. Furthermore, statement “… crime was punished or virtue rewarded, by the decrees of an impartial and incorruptible chance.” contains verbal irony also. By looking at the facts, you can see that a person is forced to be judged by this system, he is required to make his decision, although he may like neither solution. It is probable that the accused will not have any advantage over the others in the tribunal. In overall, the assumption is that the system is unjust and corrupt for the accused person. That person may’ve done nothing to be punished for, but he still may be torn to peaces if the tiger emerges from the door he’d selected. And, in another case, the one who’s guilty will be rewarded when he is supposed to be punished. This kind of verdict is neither fair, nor is it moral.

Statement “The decisions of the tribunal were not only fair, they were positively determinate….” proves that for those who gather in the arena it is thought to be more of an entertainment. The public thinks it to be fair and agrees with the king. They have the advantage. They are not accused, standing anxious and wondering whether luck would be on their side. Those people are amused by the problems of others. They are eager to see this judgment and once again be “surprised” by the outcome. Those and other ironic statements in the story “The Lady or the Tiger?” helps to build your opinion without the idea being stated by the author.

The irony is what makes us think and see the reality, to evaluate it, and to understand the contrast between the joke and truth. Even the events in your life have irony, when one may say one thing and mean the other. Irony is an important element in literature as well as in real life.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59