Literary Devices of Dramatic Irony in Lamb to the Slaughter
In the short story, Lamb to the Slaughter by Roald Dahl uses the literary devices of dramatic irony, foreshadowing, and imagery to depict a dark comedy by grasping the idea of a tragedy becoming humorous. There are multiple uses and examples of irony throughout this short story that relate to the idea of a dark comedy. One key quote of dramatic irony comes from the end of the book stating, Personally, I think its right here on the premises.? Probably right under our very noses. What do you think, Jack??
This quote here shows us as that the detectives have no idea that they are actually eating the evidence of the murder right then and there. We, as the audience, obviously know what is going on and by Mary Maloney chuckling at that statement shows us that Dahl turned something as horrible as murder into something that she laughs at in the end referring to the idea of dark comedy. Verbal irony is also represented in this piece of literature. When she goes to the market, she talks to the grocer and states, ? No, Ive got meat, thanks. I got a nice leg of lam, from the freezer.? (pg. 20) This is verbal irony because it shows that what she is saying is basically telling the grocer what she used for the murder of her husband. The irony here is amusing, knowing the fact that killed the supposed love of her life and can so easily lie about it. So again, the verbal irony really catches the tone of the dark comedy that Dahl is trying to capture here. Both dramatic and verbal irony relate to each other in the sense that the audience feels the ideas of a tragedy as something funny therefore, relating back to the overall picture of the piece of literate as a dark comedy in the short story