Introduction There are many kinds of ironies in life. It is different depending on situations; it would be funny things once in a while and would sometimes make people be displeased. Also, it is sometimes used either with or without intention; one uses irony on purpose, or it could be just happened. However, even though both the parties who use irony and who receive the irony do not notice that irony is used, a third party always would be able to find the irony of between them.
Then, irony makes people either pleased or displeased. Therefor, irony is often used in dramas with the peculiarity efficiently. Actors are could be a person who gives and receives ironies then there are the third parties, audiences, at a theater. There are some kinds of indicators in dramas to understand the story and make the dramas exaggerate, such as plots, characters, lines, aesthetic, or atmosphere.
However, irony would be the most efficient criterion in dramas because irony has the most important element and function to influence on satisfaction and expectation of audiences. It is an efficient technique of communication with audiences. A Comparison of Use of Irony in Two Plays Now, seeing two plays, one is Look Back in Anger, which is written by John Osborn in 1956, and another is Flowering Cherry, which is written by Robert Bolt in 1957. The two plays have some common conceptions. Masculinity, sex-less Anyway, both two plays seem to have unsatisfied endings. There are some controversy between main characters, Jimmy and Alice, in Look Back In Anger, so it seems to bring some tragedy, but in the end, they are back together.
On the other side, Flowering Cherry is somehow funny during the play though there is some controversy as well, eventually, the character totally failed in the end. Since audiences' expectation is in discord with the ends of the plays, the results are not entirely satisfactory. However, why do audiences get such feeling? Where is from the expectation of the stories? The expectation would be from plots, characters, lines, aesthetic, atmosphere, and so on, but besides that, use of irony would have great effect on plays and audiences' feelings.
See!! use of irony in two plays, irony is used in distinct way in the two. In Look Back in Anger, use of irony is tragic way, and in Flowering Cherry, use of irony is absurd way. That is the reasons that people might consider Look Back In Anger as tragedy and Flowering Cherry as comical play till middle of the stories. In two plays, irony would be used for confusing expectation of audiences.
This is faking. Using irony controls the audiences's atis faction and expectation in the dramas. Chapterc~n~ Definition of Irony ~ First of all, people have to figure out what irony is and how to generally use irony in dramas. History of Irony According to the earliest history of irony, irony was from a word as eironeia. The most influential model in the history of the word has been the Platonic Socrates. Socrates was always pretending to need information and professing admiration for the wisdom of his companion, so when he annoyed his companion with behaving in this way, they called him eiron.
McKee, Jone B says, "sly deceiver and hypocritical rascal are approximations of eiron in its first appearances" (90). Also, it means that a man is the boaster who is pretending to have high quality or knowledge that he does not possess or possesses much lesser degree than he makes out, while he does not regard or does not accept his truth and reality. Then he acts with hiding the truth. He might work like that on purpose or without intention. Eironeia might have various degree of difference from the truth, but the truth is not so far from the earliest connotation of the word. Therefor, eiron is regarded as a vulgarism which is generally any kind of sly deception with mockery and objectionable social behavior.
The observation of eiron was a habitual manner of behaving and a type of human character. Later, Cicero began to make some distinction of irony as "inadequacy speech", as "an isolated phenomenon", and as "a habit of discourse". Then, the word, "irony" appeared in English in fifteen century. The earliest recognized strategies, derived from Socrates, achieved as verbal techniques: "blame-through-praise" and "praise-through-blame". The definition implies two aspects of irony.
To blame by praise is "satiric irony" and to praise by blame is "comic irony". The identification of irony might be kind of "contrary" or "some difference". However, all the formulation of irony is a common idea that irony is a kind of human behavior. It is always under the control of a human. The use of irony elicits intense ethical judgement, socially acceptable or unacceptable. Irony in Drama Then, irony that has been progressed from Socrates' formula have been used and developed as one of techniques in drama.
Irony has been often seen in dramas since eighteen century. People have come to apply the term irony to the fusion in a spectator's mind of superior knowledge and to detached sympathy. In drama, irony usually has an author, and it always has "audience". H.M. Ablams defines an irony as "dramatic irony" in his book, A Glossary of Literally Terms: Dramatic irony involves a situation in a play or a narrative in which the audience or reader shares with the author knowledge of present or future circumstances of which a character is ignorant; in that situation, the character unknowingly acts in a way we recognize to be grossly inappropriate to the actual circumstances, or expects the opposite of what we know that fate holds in store, or says something that anticipates the actual outcome, but not at all in the way that the character intends. (99) Also, G.G. Sedgewick describes three definition of dramatic irony in his book, Of Irony Especially in Drama: 1. There is in all of them something that can be called a conflict of forces or elements in the play: one character!'s force is pitted against the force of another-man of god; or a character is at variance with his circumstances; or he is opposed by some impersonal power as of natural law; or there is some clash similar to these. 2.
In all of them, one as least of the forces is ignorant of his situation; the situation as it seems to him differs from the situation as it is; he is ignorant that Appearance is being contradicted by Reality; he would act differently if he knew. 3. The spectator in the theater always sees and knows both the appearance and the reality; and he senses the contradiction between what the ignorant character does and what he would do. Dramatic irony, in brief, is the sense of contradiction felt by spectators of a drama who see a character acting in ignorance of his condition.
(48-49) The irony is used some kind of situation, so depends on the situation, the function and identification of the irony is changed. It also possesses two aspects in drama. Most of its original meaning has steadily extended to satiric irony and comic irony paradoxically. Basically, the origin mean of irony is a vulgarism, so when characters speak or behave socially unacceptable, either the situation is a discomfort or displeased, people call that as irony.
If he has inadequate behavior that is ignorant the reality without intention, it brings scare to people and make them anticipate vicious matter. In this conception, author and audience sympathize or identify with the victim, who would be character and would be ignorant the reality, and with the fate of the victim. Reality may be thought of by author and audience as reflecting their own values. Or, if he has inadequate behavior with intention, the conception of irony is "praise (prides, get pride) through blame" as called satiric. Sometimes, however, the fact that is unpleasant situation brings absurdness to people.
The character being innocent of the circumstance is interesting because audiences know the situation, so they can deride the character who is an innocent. The conception of irony is "blame though praise (praises somebody) " as called comic. Therefor, the dramatic irony leads both tragic defeat and comic triumph. Moreover, irony brings author and audience fuse, and undesirable character's attitude to a sympathetic victim draws the audience's attention to his real virtues.
Thus, although dramatic irony is used some ways, mostly it is used as tragic drama. In tragic irony, sympathy for the victim predominates. Firstly, let us look at typical irony in tragic drama, Oedipus. Chapterc'o~ "Typical Irony" in Oedipus ~ Now comparing the two plays, Look Back in Anger and Flowering Cherry.
End of these two plays would provide dissatisfaction of the audiences because the used of irony is use distinct way. The irony and end are not corresponded. The irony is a fake and makes the audiences confused. Chapterc'o~ Use of Irony in Look Back in Anger ~ Some dramatic irony is used in Look Back in Anger efficiently.
The irony is mostly derived from tragic strategy. Therefor, till middle of the play, it seems for audiences to bring the tragic end. The main character, Jimmy, has a furious temper from first to last, rains down abuse on his wife, Alison, and criticizes the society. Thus, the mood of the play is gloomy and acrimonious from the beginning. Irony from Innocence There is a scene typifying the acrid mood with being used irony. In ActcE When Cliff, who is a friend living with Jimmy and Alison, and Alison is in a room together for treating burned Alison's arm by iron, she is going to tell him her secret that she gets pregnant.
She does not know what to do because she well knows about Jimmy, if she would disclose to Jimmy the fact that she is pregnant, he must have loosed his temper insanely. That is why she is confused then she confesses and talks to Cliff the fact: ALISON. You see - (Hesitates.) I'm pregnant. [! -] ALISON. after three years of married life, I have to get caught out now. CLIFF.
None of us infallible, I suppose. (Cross to her.) Must say I'm surprised though. ALISON. It's always been out of the question. What with "C this place, and no money, and oh "C everything. He's resented it, I know.
What can you do? [! -] ALISON. Can't you see? He " ll suspect my motives at once.
He never stops telling himself that I know how vulnerable he is. Tonight it might be all right "C we'd make love. But later, we'd both lie awake, watching for the light to come through that little window and dreading it. In the morning, he'd feel hoaxed, as if I were trying to kill him in the worst way of all. He'd watch me growing bigger every day, and I wouldn't dare to look as him.
(27) She is so confused, but she decides to tell Jimmy the truth and watches a chance then she is going to tell him that in the end of ActcE However, at the moment, since Helena calls, who is an Alison's old friend, his fury speech starts again: JIMMY. Oh, my dear wife, you " ve got so much to learn. I only hope you learn it one day. If only something "C something would happen to you, and wake you out of your beauty sleep! (Coming in close to her.) If you could have a child, and it would die. Let it grow, let a recognizable human face emerge from that little mass of india rubber and wrinkles.
(She retreats away from him.) Please "C if only I could watch you face that. I wonder if you might even become a recognizable human being yourself. But I doubt it. [! -] Alison's head goes back as if she were about to make some sound. But her mouth remains open and tremble, as Cliff looks on.
(37) Precisely, this scene is dramatic irony. First of all, that is the moment that Alison would like to tell him the fact, but Jimmy does not know it, that situation. Then he starts addressing as usual. Besides, Jimmy says exactly the same as Alison expected. It becomes worse situation to tell him the truth. He does not grasp the situation at all, surely, he uses irony without intention.
However, audiences are able to see both sides that appearance such as innocent Jimmy and reality such as afraid Alison. From the fate, audiences would think that the relationship between two would be more complicate and go to worse. That is what Ablams says about dramatic irony, and according to Sedgewick, the dramatic irony of No. 3 is used in this scene. The character, especially Jimmy, is totally ignorant the circumstances, and also, Alison might not be able to perceive future situation, maybe even Cliff, but only the audiences are expecting the story that end would be tragic. Possibly, audiences would also expect that the fact would be exposed, and Jimmy would lose his sanity then it could be terrible situation in its forward. Only from the one use of irony in the beginning of the drama, audiences would be able to anticipate some narrative and feel sharing with the author knowledge.
However, the play does not end parting of Jimmy and Alison though Alison has left him once in the end of the ActcE Through Osborn uses the dramatic irony here, he would make the audiences expect some tragic conclusion. However, this is a fake. He prevents them from anticipating some conclusion and makes their expectation confusing. Irony in "Contrary" In this play, irony is also described by situation. The first scene is there are Jimmy, Alison and Cliff in one-room.
It is Sunday. Jimmy and Cliff are shitting in armchairs and reading newspapers, and Alison irons. "There is a surprising reservation about he eyes, which are so large and deep they should make equivocation impossible."The room is still, smoke filled. The only sound is the occasional thud of Alison's iron on the board. It is one if those chilly Spring evening, all cloud and shadows" (5). Somehow, atmosphere is gloom then the ActcE starts with griping Jimmy.
On the other side, in the beginning of ActcE after Alison left, there are three people again, Jimmy, Helena, Cliff in one-room. It is also Sunday. Tow men are sitting in armchairs and reading newspapers, and Helena irons, but "She looks more attractive than before, for the setting of her face is more relaxed. [! -]; she wears an old shirt of Jimmy's" (82). The two set scenes are contrast and so ironical. When Helena is there, atmosphere is different; it seems a little bright and comfort. Especially, Jimmy seems to be acceptable the woman and the three people combination seem to work suitably.
In this case, the audience shares with the author knowledge of set scene, but none of them on stage can do. All three characters are ignorant the two different circumstance. There is no one who gives and receives specific irony, but there is only! (R) contrary! Irony could be expressed by just contrast and difference. The irony would rather appearance or visualization than linguistic.
Again, audiences would expect some new relationship between Jimmy and Helena and between Jimmy and Alison, or Alison would come back, and their relationship would be more complicating. It attracts audiences! anticipation as well. Irony with Intention Moreover, thirdly, there is an irony which suggests "contradiction of life" as one kind of ironies. It is an aspect of a particular philosophical position: [! -] in the real world and in the modern context a sense of irony may be a symptom of the desire to withdraw from life. Irony becomes an attempt to retreat from the contradiction of life, a symptom of a failure to cope with it, rather than a controlled serenity. (Ha akon 96) The irony is used in Look Back in Anger most conspicuously.
The object of his anger is his upper-class wife Alison and her family as a representative at large. However, that his behavior also seems to imply that he has a complaint against his indifferent life and a society, such as conventional life in the welfare state and remained hierarchical society. Luc Gilleman critics, "Jimmy was a boor and a cad, and his behavior toward his wife was inexcusable in real life and as unacceptable on the stage. In their eyes, Jimmy's violent energy had the throb not of masculine resolve bet of effeminate hysteria" (47).
His attitude to his wife or his contempt toward her family is too artificial. That must be having meaning of the bottom. For instance, in ActcE Jimmy talks about Alison's brother, Nigel: JIMMY: [! -] The Platitude from Outer Space- that's brother Nigel. [! -] But somewhere at the back of that mind is the vague knowledge that he and his pals have been plundering and fooling everybody for generations.
Now Nigel is just about as vague as you can get without being actually invisible. [! -] And nothing is more vague about Nigel than his knowledge. His knowledge of life and ordinary human beings is so hazy, he really deserves some sort of decoration for it.
[! -] Besides, he's a patriot and an Englishman, and he doesn't like the idea that he may have been selling out his countryman all these years, [! -]. But they knew all about character building at Nigel's school, and he " ll make it all right [!
-]. (16-17) In the statement, Jimmy insults Nigel, the upper-class people. He says their knowledge and their own existence is vague. They just lean on their status and do nothing. Also, he emphasizes ironically they are different from him as totally another creatures.
Two humans who are born and grow in the same world and country have contrastive life. That would typify the contradicted society. In the Sedgewick definition in No 1, "one character!'s force is pitted against the force of another- man or god; or a character is at variances with his circumstances; or he is opposed by some impersonal power as of natural law; [! -]! +/-.
So, his anger is toward Nigel, her family, but at same time, he would be against the system of the society and the society itself. Also, he mentions: JIMMY. [! -] Nigel and Alison.
They " re what they sound like: sycophantic, phlegmatic, and pusillanimous. [! -] All this time, I have been married to this woman, this monument to non-attachment, and suddenly I discover that there is actually a word that sums her up. Not just as adjective in the English language to describe her with- it's her name!
Pusillanimous! [! -]. (18) He would like to assert that a status is no longer value.
He is against to them, but his anger is not only his wife's attitude but also the state of mind that the welfare state had helped to promote. This insistence and his behavior would reflect the context of the politics, government and so on that are indifferent to others. Thus, there would be another meaning of the sentence behind what he says. It could be a genuine meaning.
He is using the irony on purpose, with intention, so he is pride through blame. Moreover, the use of irony is an important resource to communicate with the audiences. In this transition of period, some middle-class young men would have same desire and anger as Jimmy. "Jimmy, of course, represented a new ideal of masculinity, derived largely from American models that emphasized the hero's sexual unease.
It valued "raw intensity" rather than the self-control propagated in traditionally British models of middle-class masculinity."Look Back in Anger appears to be a social problem or state of the nation play, dealing with the inertia and lack of resolve that were said to be typical of the welfare state. Its many topical references are indeed meaningful to an audience of the late 1950s" (Gilleman 47). In this kind of irony, it brings out audiences's sympathy rather than their expectation of the story. The Jimmy!'s anger fuses with civilian one's. Chapterc^o~ Use of Irony in Flowering Cherry ~ The play talks about dull man named Jim Cherry who has worked for twenty years in a city insurance office and dreams of buying an orchard in his native Somerset. At home, he has a sexless marriage with Isobel who barely tolerates him.
At the first sight, it is ordinary family though the father seems a little untidy. However, when Isobel discovers that Cherry has in fact lost his job and has been pilfering from her purse and drinking gin and cider in secret, she decides to leave him. At last, he falls to the floor and dies. The story ends tragically.
However, the story does not seem to give people much expectation of tragic end. The reason would be use of irony as well. Silly Ignoramus First of all, beginning of the play, a conversation between Isobel and Tom, her son is so interesting. This is ordinary conversation between mother and son. Isobel takes care of her son as mother. She chides Tom who acts irresponsibly and is blame to his father, and she worries about his behavior as his untidy father: ISOBEL.
No, Tom, it's an attitude. Either do things or don't do them, but whichever it is, know it, Otherwise, as sure as fate, you " ll end up like- (Breath off.) It's a terrible habit, that 'I'll get it' and sitting where you are. It's shifty. TOM. Yes, Like 'D'you want a drink, old chap?' when you want one yourself. [!
-] Well, don't worry; I dare say I'll end up in the dog-house- but not like old man. (4) Then, Right after the conversation, Cherry comes out on a stage with his co-worker, Gilbert Grass. He says: CHERRY: (unseen, behind the trellis.) Come in and here a drink, Gilbert. (4) Cherry does not perceive the situation at all. Isobel and Tom were talking about Cherry just before he comes and about a person who not should to be. However, Cherry comes back just like the person.
His behavior is exactly the same as what they say. According to Sedgewick, it may be the situation of No 2, if he knew their conversation or situation, he might act differently. Here is the dramatic irony, but the use of irony is absurd way. His behavior is just happen without intention, while it is too good timing to come out on a stage with the attitude, so in this situation, his innocent could be savor. Also, this scene would describe the cheerful character of Cherry, so audiences perceive his stupidity and would mock a character. They would feel interesting rather than sympathy with him.
Since cheerful character of Cherry, the tragic end is further the expectation. "Contradiction of Life" Secondly, let us look at how a man faces to "contradiction of life". As it is mentioned in ChaptercEbefore, "contradiction of life" as irony is expressed in Flowering Cherry as well, but in different way. Firstly, compare husband attitude to wife as a man between Jimmy and Cherry.
Actually, both two behaviors would be totally opposite. Jimmy is hurting his wife with intense anger. Cherry is always fibbing again and again insincerely. It is because they have opposite concept as men, "Cherry's dilemma is that he has lost his self-respect! - his masculinity is shaken and his sex-life has gone wrong and with it his relationship as head of the family" (Tuner Adrian 134-135). Contrary to Jimmy, Cherry would be typified as ordinary men in this period in England. One behavior is socially unacceptable, who vents his anger to his wife as symbol of complaint to society.
Another behavior is socially acceptable, who escapes from reality and chases his dream. Now, see how uses of irony differ. When David Bowman, who is a seeds man, visits Cherry suddenly and starts talking about an orchard, since Isobel does not know about that at all, she is really surprised and feels weary of his liberal behavior. When Cherry comes back home, she forces him to refuse that he buys an orchard, but then he starts talking about his fairy dream: ISOBEL (weary). Yes sure. Only tell this Bowman the truth, eh?
Just for once, tell the truth! You haven't got an orchard; you never will have an orchard. CHERRY. Don't be too sure about that. Orr, you make too much of things, Bel. I shall need this chap one day.
All right, you " ll see, one day I'll surprise you; one spring I'll surprise you. 'Come on,' I'll say, 'come and see what we " ve got,' and we " ll leave the kids and drive down there. Then you " ll see, Bel, a hundred trees in a row, and thirty rows-Egremont, Cornish Maiden, Farmer's Fortune, all in blossom, meeting over your head; [! -].
(39) And also, the scene in ActcE Isobel talks to Bowman and discovers that Cherry quits his job and pilfers her money then drunken Cherry comes back home: CHERRY. There you are! (Collapses in to a kitchen chair at the table and fights for breath.) Oof!! - Saw your car! - Oof!! - Ran all the way from the pub!
Oof! Wait a tick! (Puts his head between his knees and breathes noisily.) O-o-o-f Good of you to come, old man. [! -] Bel, let's have two glasses! - Oof!
Well now, how are you, squire? [! -] (88-89). [! -] he returns, see the marked notes on table. He puts out a hand to them.
Scared. CHERRY. You found your notes, then? ISOBEL. Yes. You gave them to me.
Why did you, Jim? Don't look at your knife now! Why did you take it, Jim? CHERRY.
I "C er-um! - er-um! -wanted it. For! - for! - [! -] Well, I just! a just happened to need it.
ISOBEL. So you took it! [! -] ISOBEL. Jim, tell me the truth about one thing.
Why did you take it? CHERRY. Well, I was short. There's no in the bank, Bel. [! -] ISOBEL.
The truth, Jim! Oh, why can't you say! a'I lost my job!' CHERRY. You know? Thank God, thank God you know. O-o-o-o-o-o-oh.
[! -] ISOBEL. LEAVE your knife alone! You see?
You can't even weep! You " re lying now! Everything you do is a lie! You " re lying all the time! There's absolutely nothing you have any respect for! Nothing!
Your apples and an orchards; your dream; you one dream! ait's nothing but a lie and an excuse for lies and lies! You can't even weep! Here is obviously recognized that the different attitudes to wives from the character in Look Back in Anger, who is "a new ideal of masculinity."Cherry seems to me the prototype of a million ordinary men who work for their living in the city but who have their roots in the country. His dreams are the extension of every office worker who cultivates a small garden and this longing for something" (Tuner 134). In this play, Flowering Cherry, Cherry seems ignorant what Isobel think with lie, at the same time, he also seems to try escaping the reality. When he faces to conflict, he just ignorant it.
Besides, the audiences would deride or is blame to a little sillier character and would be able to feel defeating because of his silly character and he does not take seriously the situation. Then they would expect farce situation rather than tragic one. One of the conceptions of both two plays is "contradiction of life", but the way treating is different. It leads to use of irony.
Moreover, in this scene, Cherry does not take seriously the matter at all. On the other side, Isobel is surely realistic. There is prominent! (R) contrast! between them. "Cherry's dilemma is that he has lost self-respect! - his masculinity is shaken and his sex-life has gone wrong and with it his relationship as head of the family" (Tuner 134-135). Cherry does not or cannot grasp the reality and Isobel is so serious about the situation materialistically.
In fact, audiences could recognize the gap between two. Since there is too much contract, Cherry just seems to be detachment and ridiculous by a contrary, and Isobel just seems to be too serious with the matter; she seems prudish vainly. Because of the too large gap, audiences would feel it is not that serious play as tragedy. Irony is expressed differently. Moreover, since Cherry is described as a really ordinary man, it gives audiences sympathy with him, totally innocent.
Obvious Contrast Beside, even in the end, it is described irrationally with remarkable contrast. After Isobel left Cherry, he desperately tries to bend a porker because he wants her to come back, but she is not coming back. He is remained detached ly on a stage then behind alone him, there is blooming flower brilliantly. Cherry is too late to note the worth of existence of Isobel, family and the fact though he might not notice the fact yet.
He failed alone on a stage. Ironically, the setting is vivid flower. His failure is his blooming. It would rather comical way. Conclusion Thus, irony is used in some kinds of way and used efficiently in dramas.
As it is mentioned first, irony is a one of the authors' techniques of communication with audiences. When people meet irony, they read the suggestion of the irony either tragic or comic, but not always it responds what audiences exactly expect. They are controlled by the irony. In above two plays, the authors seem that they use it to deceive the audiences and confuse their expectation.
Also, irony is not to be implying the ends. "It is a way of bringing about a conclusion, but the use of irony to bring it about not predetermine the nature of the conclusion" (Eleanor N. Hutchins 357). Since the facts that the influence of irony is considerable capacity, audiences acquire some view of conclusion. Besides, there are some gaps between their expectation and the conclusions, so they might feel dissatisfaction once in a while.
However, use of irony is insistently a technique..