Situational irony  Irony is a literary device that uses contradictory statements or situations to reveal a reality different from what appears to be true. Situational irony occurs when there is an incongruity between what is expected to happen and what actually happens due to forces beyond human comprehension or control. The suicide of the seemingly successful main character in Edwin Arlington Robinson's poem "Richard Cory" is an example of situational irony. (See also, irony.)

The definitions in this glossary were adapted from The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Sixth Edition, by Michael Meyer