Suggest a few instances in the poem which highlight humour and irony.

A model answer has been provided for students' reference.

It is strongly recommended that students prepare the answer on their own.


The poet has used the tools of humour and irony in the poem. Humour refers to cognitive experiences which provoke laughter in a person. Irony refers to the strange aspect of a situation that is very different from what one expects. Some instances of humour and irony in the poem are:


The decision of the king to hang the chief of the builders for constructing a low arch when his crown struck against it evokes laughter among the readers. It is an example of humour. The way the king got convinced that actually the labourers who constructed the arch were responsible is also humourous. The king wanted to hang the labourers but the labourers were able to defend themselves. This situation is humorous as it evokes laughter among the readers and ironic as the readers find that the labourers are able to shift the responsibility to the architect. Ironically, the architect is able to shift the responsibility to the king himself. The selection of the wisest man who would give the verdict as to who was the real culprit evokes laughter and is, therefore, humorous. The old man ultimately blamed the arch and declared that the arch must be hanged. Ironically, one of the ministers pointed out that the gathering wanted a man to be hanged. As the noose fitted the king's neck, so, he was hanged.

The choice of a successor is humorous as an idiot is consulted in selecting the successor. The idiot chose a melon who became the symbolic head of the state.


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