It is my intention to derive the concept of ‘theatrical irony’ from the general theory of theatrical communication.
The basic meaning of the term ‘irony’, from the Greek word ‘ειρωνεια’, was ‘dissimulation’. Over the centuries, this term has been extended to additional semantic fields and consequently acquired new meanings as in ‘Socratic irony’, ‘philosophical irony’, ‘romantic irony’, ‘dramatic irony’, ‘tragic irony’, and so on. At the same time, a number of more colloquial expressions were introduced as well, as in ‘ironic smile’, ‘irony of events’, ‘irony of fate’, and so on. I am of the opinion, however, that despite the diversity of such phrases and regardless of their partial overlap, it is still possible to unveil a common semantic core. Furthermore, it is my belief that our understanding of theatrical irony benefits from all these additional usages.