What is the role of dramatic irony in Shakespeares tragedies?
The role of dramatic irony in Shakespeare’s play is to heighten the tension of the drama, and often to support themes. A prime example of this use of dramatic irony, being when an audience knows something that the characters on stage does not which makes what they’re doing ironic, can be found in Romeo and Juliet. When Romeo receives a letter informing him of Juliet’s “death” and eventually kills himself over her “lifeless” corpse, the audience knows how tragic his suicide is, because the audience knows that Juliet is in fact alive, and that it is all a terrible mistake. One of the themes of Romeo and Juliet is the power of fate in the balance of life, and the power of chaos. This situation of dramatic irony allows these themes to become more poignant in the eyes of the audience. Other such examples include the murder of MacDuff’s wife and son in MacBeth, the murder scene being followed by a scene involving MacDuff chiding Prince Malcolm for his negative attitude, when the audience kno