Ironies Of Life Essay, Research Paper
Ironies Of Life
Irony is a word that has been around in my life since I was six years old. I remember it exactly, the day that the word entered my vocabulary. My mom and I were driving to my grandma?s house and I was reading a ?Calvin and Hobbes? comic from the paper earlier that morning. Calvin had been saving a snowball in the freezer for 4 months and was going to use it. He snuck up on his nemesis, Suzy, and threw it as hard as he could, and missed. He goes into hysterics, wondering how he could have missed that perfect shot, while, at the same time Suzy is scooping up the pile of snow lying in front of her. Calvin turns in time to see Suzy grinning as she hurls it in his face. The last panel has Calvin lying on the ground with snow on his head, saying that ?the irony of this is sickening?. I asked my mom what that word and she told me to look it up when we got home. Ever since then, Irony has been one of my favorite words, because of the sarcasm and wit involved to use it.
The Oxford English dictionary defines irony as the use of words designed to convey a meaning opposite to the literal sense, with the design of indicating dissent, disapprobation,or contempt;censure or ridicule under cover of praise or compliment; covert sarcasm or satire. This means that you can make fun of someone, and make them feel really dumb, which is something that the media loves to do. The T.V. shows ?Saturday Night Live?, ?Friends?, ?Fraiser?, and ?The Simpsons? are all perfect examples of irony. ?Fraiser? is a show that loves to use the concept of irony to play with the characters of the show, getting them into some precarious situations.
Irony in entertainment isn?t something new though. In greek tragedies, famous playwrights used irony to entertain audiences for years. Sophicles used irony in one of his most famous plays, ?Oedipus? where a young couple, who were King and Queen of a land, were told by a prophecy that their son would kill the father. Frightened by this knowledge, they took their son and chained him to a mountain far away. A shepherd found the boy and raised him as his own. The boy grew to become a man, and, while walking on a path, was told to move so that a royal coach may pass. He didn?t want to move and ended up killing all of the guards and the king himself. He then ventured to the next town, which happened to be the city where his parents ruled, and wound up marrying the queen. When they found out what had happened, he took a pin and jabbed out his eyes. The Greeks knew that word as ironia, which is latin. They knew it to mean dissimulation, ignorance purposely affected.
Probably the most famous greek to use irony, though, was Socrates, who had is own form of irony, Socratic Irony. Socratic irony is a condition of affairs or events exactly the reverse of what was to be expected; a contradictory result of events as though in mockery of what might have been looked for; as in the irony of the circumstances. What Socrates would do is play dumb, so that he would be easily overlooked, and put aside, and could easily lure his companions into a state of self assuredness. Then he could tell who really was intelligent and who was not, and decide who he wanted to make friends with. It?s a brilliant way to see who is your intellectual equivalent.
Irony is a funny thing. It can be used to make a interesting outlook on a situation, provide some dry sarcasm, or put things in perspective. It?s a fun word to use and very popular, for anyone who can use sarcasm can use the word irony.