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Dramatic irony is the soul of a tragedy. It is a form of situational irony that involves the audience's awareness of a character's real situation before the character. In other words, it is a dialogue or situation which conveys one meaning to the character or characters on stage and a different meaning to the audience.  It is used both in tragedy and in comedy to heighten respective effects. 
Dramatic Irony

In Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, dramatic irony serves as the central point for the tragedy. Irony piles upon irony in this world famous tragedy. Oedipus wants to avoid the decree of fate. But irony lies in the fact that he serves the purpose of fate. He wants to find out the killer of Laius. But he does not know that he himself is the killer. He calls Teiresias a brainless, shameless, senseless and sightless sot. But at the end of the play, he himself is proved so. Dramatic irony is also used successfully in the Elizabethan tragedies. Doctor Faustus, Macbeth and The Duchess of Malfi are full of dramatic irony. In Julius Caesar, Brutus appears as a tragic hero in the limited sense of the term. He is able to draw our sympathy. He has tragic flaws.


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