San Manuel Bueno, Martyr

San Manuel Bueno, Martyr Irony

"When I rose to leave the church, he asked me: 'Now, Angela, in the name of our people, do you absolve me?' I felt pierced by a mysterious priesthood and said: 'In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, I absolve you, Father.' " (Situational irony)

At the end of a confessional, Don Manuel, the priest, surprises Angela by suddenly and unexpectedly asking her to absolve him. Such a request is unusual, and therefore ironic, as usually it is the priest that grants absolution to the villager. In the face of this request, however, Angela feels "pierced by a mysterious priesthood" and grants Don Manuel his absolution. This role reversal between the two characters reveals that Don Manuel, despite his priestly occupation, considers Angela to be his spiritual superior by virtue of her stronger belief.

"Father, today I, your demonized disciple, have come to you to ask another question which my demonic guardian has given me." (Verbal irony)

When Angela speaks this line to Don Manuel, she is clearly not under demonic influence. Because her words contrast with her polite tone and calm demeanor, we can see that Angela is using verbal irony when she addresses Don Manuel. This verbal irony reveals that Angela is subtly expressing her skepticism towards Don Manuel's suggestion that her doubts were planted by the Devil. Following her ironic remark, Don Manuel acknowledges her skepticism by allowing her to proceed and ask him the questions she had in mind.

"Now the distinguished Lord Bishop has initiated the process of beatification for our Saint of Valverde de Lucerna." (Dramatic irony)

Angela ends her memoir in the same place she began: with the bishop of Renada beginning the beatification process for the late Don Manuel. However, the reader now understands that the Saint of Valverde de Lucerna the bishop wishes to immortalize was in fact an atheist. Had the bishop known Don Manuel's true religious beliefs, he would have considered Don Manuel a heretic and never begun the beatification process for the saint. As such, the Lord Bishop's ignorance regarding Don Manuel is a display of dramatic irony.