Explain use of irony in hamlet
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Hamlet’s text is suffused with general, situational and verbal irony. At the start of the play Hamlet responds to Claudius calling him his son by saying that he is too much of a ‘sun’ i.e. too closely related to be comfortable with him as his uncle and step-father.
The death of Polonius is situational irony at its best. Up until that point Hamlet had been reluctant to kill his uncle Claudius and in his first rash moment he ends up killing someone but Polonius instead of Claudius.
In fact Claudius is able to poison Hamlet before he even comes near to killing him with his poisoned sword. Even his famous soliloquy “To be or not to be” is full of irony with the living existing as dead and fearing death when alive.