Essay about Dramatic Irony in Hamlet

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Dramatic Irony is Hamlet
What is Dramatic Irony?
-Dramatic Irony is when the words and actions of the characters in a work of literature are known to the audience or reader, but they are not known to certain characters in the story. The reader or audience has a greater knowledge of many of the characters themselves.
-Shakespeare employs dramatic irony in many of his tragedies, so that the audience is engaged, and so they are able to witness characters errors in their action, predict the fate of the characters, and experience feelings of tragedy and grief.
Examples of Dramatic Irony in Hamlet
Act 1, Scene 5
• Ghost of Old Hamlet talks to Hamlet and explains to him how his death occurred.
• Ghost reveals that he was not actually
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• Hamlet comes up from beyond the king and has a perfect opportunity to kill Claudius and gain revenge for him father.
• The audience is aware that Hamlet is behind Claudius; however Claudius thinks he is alone.
• Hamlet does not murder Claudius because he thinks that he is praying, and that Claudius would go to heaven if he died while he was praying.
• This example of dramatic irony is important because if Hamlet had killed Claudius in this scene, that Hamlet would have achieved hos ultimate goal much more quickly, and the play would have been finished.
• Hamlet did not murder the king in this scene, which allowed Claudius to have time to form a plan to kill Hamlet.
• Hamlets foolish decision to not kill Claudius while he had the chance led to his ultimate demise.
• This scene of dramatic irony showcases Hamlet`s hatred for Claudius. He does not kill Claudius when he is praying because he doesn’t want him to go to heaven. Hamlet wants to wait until Claudius commits a sin to kill him, so that he will go to hell.

Act 3, Scene 4
• Queen asks Hamlet to talk to her in private.
• Queen has allowed Polonius to hide behind the arras in the Queen`s bedroom and listen while she talks to Hamlet.
• Hamlet does not know that Polonius is listening in to their conversation.
• Queen is making an attempt to reveal what is making Hamlet act crazy.
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