Ransom Irony

The gates opening (dramatic irony)

The gates magically opening to the Greek camp is an example of dramatic irony. Even though the reader, Priam, and Somax know that the gates are opened by Hermes, the soldiers have no idea what's going on and are therefore completely shocked.

Achilles watching the women prepare Hector's body (situational irony)

As Achilles watches the laundry women prepare Hector's body for burial, he himself identifies two examples of what we can call situational irony. The first is when he observes the irony of being born and being prepared for burial in the same type of space: naked in a hut, among only women. The second is his observation that, despite everything, he will soon be in Hector's place.

Achilles offering to help Priam (dramatic and situational irony)

In a moment of both dramatic and situational irony, Achilles offers to help Priam escape from Troy, and Priam suggests that Achilles might not be alive when that day comes. This is dramatically ironic because, unbeknownst at least to Priam, Achilles will die before the fall of Troy. But it is also an example of situational irony because the reason that Priam is killed is revenge, specifically for Achilles' death.

Neoptolemus killing Priam (dramatic)

At the end of the book, the reader is given a glimpse of how, in the future, Achilles' son Neoptolemus will come to Troy and kill Priam in revenge for his father's death. This is an example of dramatic irony: we know that Neoptolemus is sailing to Troy, but Priam and Somax do not, and continue on without that knowledge.

Somax being remembered for the mule (situational irony)

Despite talking about how he wanted to do something great that he could be remembered for, Priam is not the one who is most often remembered in tales of the Trojan war, nor is it Achilles. Instead, the figure that people remember most from this story is the mule, Beauty. This is situational irony.