Simply put, dramatic irony is when a person makes a harmless
remark and someone else who hears it knows something that
makes the remark have a different, and usually unpleasant, meaning. For instance, if you are in a restaurant and said out loud, "I can't wait
to eat the veal marsala I ordered," and there
were people around who knew that
marsala was poisoned
you would die as soon as you took
a bite, your situation would be one of dramatic irony.
: "I promise that if you take time
to learn the facts, no harm will come
to you here in the Reptile Room."
As you and I listen to Uncle Monty tell
the three Baudelaire orphans that no harm will
in the Reptile Room, we should be experiencing the strange feeling that accompanies the arrival of dramatic irony. This
feeling is not unlike the sinking
in one's stomach when
one is in an elevator that suddenly goes down, or when
you are snug in bed and your closet door suddenly creaks open to reveal the person who has been hiding there. For no matter how safe and happy the three children felt, no matter how comforting Uncle Monty
were, you and I know that soon Uncle Monty will
be dead and the Baudelaires will
be miserable once again.