The Spanish Tragedy is a famous play of Elizabethan age. It was written by Thomas Kyd and it is perhaps the best drama of this playwright. We know that it is mainly a revenge play but at the same time it is full of dramatic irony. In fact, from the beginning to the end, we find a lot of examples of dramatic irony. Before going any further we should try to know about dramatic irony. In dramatic irony, what happens is that the character says something but the reality is different. Ignorance is one factor. Out of ignorance, the character says something and we know that the opposite is happening or has already happened or will happen in future. Secondly, an irony is also something by which we see the character says something but the opposite happens.
In The Spanish Tragedy, in many of the occasions, the characters give some speeches and what we can find is the opposite has already happened or will happen. We can perhaps start the matter of Spanish king. He hears
The same thing can be said about the Portuguese Viceroy. The Portuguese viceroy hears that his son has been killed. However, it was not true and in fact his son Balthazar has unfairly and unjustly killed Don Andrea who is the lover of Bel-Imperia. This unfair killing starts some other killings. The Viceroy is very sad with the faults news of a son’s death in war. But the irony is that in the end will get murdered in front of his own eyes. When Bel-Imperia hears the news of the death of Don Andrea, she is at first very sad and then she decide that she would take Horatio as her new lover. She tries to give comfort to herself that with this action she will be able to get some revenge of her first lover’s death. However, what we can see is that the opposite thing happens. In stead of getting revenge, for the death of Don Andrea, the love relationship between Bel-Imperia and Horatio become the cause of Horatio. Not only that, Horatio gets killed while secretly meeting Bel-Imperia.
Bel-Imperia and Horatio met each other secretly in two scenes of The Spanish Tragedy and they are full of irony. They feel that they are safe and good time will come to them. However, their secret meeting becomes the place of their death.
Perhaps the best example of irony is the death scene of Pedringano. Pedringano was a bad person and he killed Horatio after being influenced by Lorenzo. Lorenzo thinks that he must get rid of Pedringano so that in future Pedringano can not source of danger for him. So, Pedringano is taken into court for justice and he is sentenced to death. Lorenzo tells Pedringano that he has arranged pardon for him and for this matter Pedringano was very confident that nothing would happen to him. So, he made fun with the hangman. Until the last moment, he did not understand that Lorenzo betrayed with him. As a result he got killed.
A very big example of dramatic irony is the play within play scene done by Hieronimo. Hieronimo arranges a drama and in it, he got the support of Bel-Imperia. Hieronimo killed Lorenzo and Bel-Imperia killed Balthazar. Then Bel-Imperia committed suicide and Hieronimo told everyone that whatever they saw until now was real. The King and the Portuguese Viceroy and the King’s brother could not understand that everything was real. They praised the acting of everyone that the acting was very real but they did not understand that it was real acting and this is very good example of dramatic irony used by Thomas Kyd in this drama The Spanish Tragedy.