What is the difference between irony and paradox?

The main difference between irony and paradox is that irony refers to situations or dialogues in which the apparent meaning of a statement or action does not match its intended meaning, but paradox refers to the juxtaposition of a number of seemingly contradicting concepts that create a hidden one Reveal truth .

Irony and paradox are two literary means that we can observe in different literary works. There is often confusion between these two concepts as both contain conflicting ideas.

Key areas covered

1. What is irony - definition, characteristics, types 2. What is paradox - definition, types 3. What are the similarities between irony and paradox - overview of the similarities 4. What is the difference between irony and paradox - comparison of the main differences

key terms

Irony, paradox, verbal irony, situational irony, dramatic irony

Difference Between Irony and Paradox - Summary of Comparison

What is irony?

Irony is a literary device in which we use the words in such a way that the intended meaning and the actual meaning are different. In other words, this refers to the discrepancy between what is meant and what it says, what is expected and what happens, what is meant and what is understood, or what is said and what is done. In addition, there are different types of irony as situational irony, verbal irony, and dramatic irony.

Difference Between Irony and Paradox

Situation comedy

It is a situation where the exact opposite of what is expected happens. For example, a police station is robbed or a marriage counselor gets divorced. If we look at the situational irony in literature, the story of Romeo and Juliet is a perfect example. In Romeo Juliet, Juliet drinks the sleeping potion and falls asleep in the hope of being reunited with Romeo. But this action leads to her death.

Verbal irony

The irony is a statement or a comment in which the expressed meaning is very different from the intended meaning. Sayings like "as comfortable as a root canal", "as sunny as a winter day in Alaska" etc.

Dramatic irony

It is a literary device that is mainly used in theaters and films. Here the viewer knows more about the situation than the characters. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo assumes that Juliet is dead, but the audience knows that she is not dead.

What is paradox?

A paradox is a seemingly contradicting statement that, when examined, may prove valid or true. In other words, it brings two seemingly opposing ideas together and reveals a hidden or unexpected truth.

Some common examples of paradoxes

  • Less is more.
  • Be cruel to be kind.
  • The enemy of your enemy is your friend.
  • Attack is the best defense.

Key difference - irony vs. paradox

There are two types of paradox in literature: the situation paradox and the rhetoric paradox. A situational paradox is a contradicting circumstance, while a rhetorical paradox is a seemingly contradicting comment by a character. For example, the concept of catch-22 in Joseph Heller's novel Catch 22 is a situational paradox. In addition, the famous quote “All animals are the same, but some are more equal than others” in George Orwell's novel Animal Farm is an example of a rhetorical paradox.

Similarities Between Irony and Paradox

  • Irony and paradox are two literary techniques.
  • In addition, these two techniques use two conflicting concepts.

Difference Between Irony and Paradox

definition

Irony is the use of words in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. But the paradox is the juxtaposition of a series of seemingly contradicting concepts that reveal a hidden truth.

Types

There are three types of irony; they are situational irony, verbal irony and dramatic irony. On the other hand, there are two types of paradox; they are the situational paradox and the rhetorical paradox.

diploma

Irony refers to situations or dialogues in which the apparent meaning of a statement or action does not match its intended meaning, but paradox refers to the juxtaposition of a series of seemingly contradicting concepts that reveal a hidden truth. So this is the main difference between irony and paradox.

Reference:

1. “Definitions and Examples of Irony in Literature.” Flocabular, Available here . 2. “Paradoxical Examples and Definition”. Literary Gadgets, Oct. 31, 2015, available here .

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About the author: Hasa

Hasa holds a BA in English, French and Translation Studies. She is currently reading for a Masters in English. Her areas of interest include literature, language, linguistics and also food.