Definition of tone in literature is; it refers to the writer’s attitude towards the subject, characters, and events in a piece of writing. It is the emotional and moral perspective that the author takes toward the work, and it conveysthrough the use of language, tone of voice, and literary techniques. Tone meaning is that it is an essential aspect of literary writing, as it helps to create the atmosphere and mood of a story, and it also helps to communicate the author’s message to the reader.
Types of Tone in Literature
There are several types of tone in literature, each of which conveys a different emotional and moral perspective. Some of the most common tone in literature include:
- Irony: This is a tone that expresses a meaning that is the opposite of what is stated. Irony often expresses sarcasm, or humor, or emphasizes a point.
Tone of Irony Example in Literature
One example of irony tone in literature in Shakespeare’s works is in “Romeo and Juliet.” In this play, Romeo uses irony when he says, “O, I am fortune’s fool!” after he has killed Tybalt. On one hand, Romeo is acknowledging that he has made a grave mistake, but on the other hand, he is also saying that he is a fool for falling in love with Juliet, who comes from a family that he has just declared war on. This is an example of situational irony, as the audience knows that Romeo’s actions will lead to his own downfall, but he does not.
Another example of irony in Shakespeare’s works can be found in “Hamlet.” In this play, the character of Hamlet is using irony when he says, “To be, or not to be: that is the question: / Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles / And by opposing end them.” Hamlet is considering whether it is better to end his life and escape the pain and suffering of the world, or to continue to live and endure the hardships. This is an example of dramatic irony.
- Sarcasm: This is a type of irony that mocks, ridicules, or expresses contempt towards someone or something. Sarcasm can express anger, frustration, or disappointment.
Sarcasm Example in Literature
One of the most famous examples of sarcasm tone in literature is the character of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest.” The character of Algernon Moncrieff is known for his witty, sarcastic remarks and humorous takes on society’s conventions. For example, when Algernon is asked if he has any vices, he replies, “I have the usual weaknesses, but none worth mentioning.” This type of dry, sarcastic humor is a hallmark of Wilde’s writing. And has made “The Importance of Being Earnest” one of the most beloved comedies in English literature.
Some other types of tone
- Humor: This is a tone that makes the reader laugh or smile. Humor can lighten the mood of a story or to make a serious point in a more palatable way.
- Nostalgia: This is a tone in literature that evokes a sense of longing for the past or for things that are not present. Nostalgia can evoke emotions such as sadness, regret, or longing.
- Pessimism: This is a tone that expresses a negative outlook on life, the world, or human nature. Pessimism can evoke emotions such as sadness, despair, or hopelessness.
- Optimism: This is a tone in literature that express a positive outlook on life, the world, or human nature. Optimism can evoke emotions such as hope, joy, or happiness.
- Enthusiasm: This is a tone that expresses excitement, passion, or energy. Enthusiasm can evoke emotions such as excitement, joy, or inspiration.
- Serenity: This is a tone in literature that express calmness, peace, or tranquility. Serenity can evoke emotions such as peace, contentment, or serenity.
- Bitterness: This is a tone that expresses anger, resentment, or frustration. Bitterness can evoke emotions such as anger, frustration, or disappointment.
- Pity: This is a tone that evokes sympathy, compassion, or sadness for someone or something. Pity can evoke emotions such as sadness, compassion, or sympathy.
Use of Tone
In literature, tone in literature can show through the use of language, tone of voice, and literary techniques. For example, the choice of words, sentence structure, and syntax can all convey tone. The tone of voice that the author uses in writing can also convey tone. Such as through the use of sarcasm, irony, or humor. Finally, literary techniques such as imagery, symbolism, and metaphor can also convey tone.
In conclusion, tone in literature is an essential aspect of literary writing, as it helps to create the atmosphere and mood of a story, and it also helps to communicate the author’s message to the reader.