A contrast or discrepancy between what is said and what is meant or between what happens and what is expected to happen in life and in literature. In verbal irony, characters say the opposite of what they mean. In irony of circumstance or situation, the opposite of what is expected occurs. In dramatic irony, a character speaks in ignorance of a situation or event known to the audience or to the other characters. Flannery O'Connor's short stories employ all these forms of irony, as does Poe's "Cask of Amontillado."
Hamlet , with a running time in the range of four hours, is seldom performed in its entirety. Consequently, the role of Fortinbras is sometimes omitted, as it was in the 1948 film starring Laurence Olivier , in the 1969 film starring Nicol Williamson , and the 1990 film starring Mel Gibson . He was included, however, in the 1921 Svend Gade and Heinz Schall directed German silent film Hamlet and portrayed by Fritz Achterberg , in the 1964 Broadway revival, which was later filmed as Richard Burton's Hamlet , in the 1980 BBC Shakespeare television production starring Derek Jacobi , in the 1996 film starring Kenneth Branagh and the 2000 film starring Ethan Hawke , although in the 2000 film, he is an enemy of business. In these films he was played by Michael Ebert , Ian Charleson , Rufus Sewell and Casey Affleck , respectively.