Shakespeare's plays rely largely on irony. Othello is no exception to this occurrence. There are numerous examples of Shakespeare's skillful use of irony. There are three kinds of irony presented in this play. They include: situational, verbal, and dramatic. Irony plays an important role in Othello. It creates suspense, and adds interest to the story. This essay will analyze the aspects of irony in Othello.
There are many examples of situational irony in this play. Cassio was the one Iago wanted dead or out of his position. At the end of the play, Cassio was the only one that did not die and Othello actually promoted him to a higher position. In the end Iago never accomplishes what he started to do-- to get back at Othello and take Cassio's place. Both Othello and Iago treat their wives horribly. Both killed their wives even through their innocence. Iago killed his wife because she was working against his plan. Othello killed his wife because he thought she cheated on him when she really did not. Before he killed her, Iago used his wife in a way that helped him to betray Othello. She was a good friend of Desdemona's and she worked against her friend without knowing it. She took Desdemona's handkerchief because Iago said he wanted it. Iago then placed the handkerchief in Cassio's room to make him look guilty. Also, throughout the play, it seemed that Othello was the only one who didn't know the truth. Shakespeare uses situational irony well to make the story more interesting.
The verbal irony in this novel can sometimes be humorous because of how ironic it is. The most essential part of dramatic irony in the story is Iago. Othello often said things that were actually the opposite of Iago: "O, thou art wise! (IV.I.87), "Honest Iago . . . "(V.II.88), (II.III.179) & (I.III.319), "I know, Iago, Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter"(II.III.251-52). These lines are just a few of the ironic that Othello says to Iago.