Socratic Irony

Classical Quarterly 37 (01):79-96 (1987)
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‘Irony,’ says Quintilian, is that figure of speech or trope ‘in which something contrary to what is said is to be understood’ . His formula has stood the test of time. It passes intact into Dr Johnson's dictionary . It survives virtually intact in ours:Irony is the use of words to express something other than, and especially the opposite of, [their] literal meaning


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