The following is an excerpt from my meatspace journal:
Dramatic Irony, the art of reflective literature, is a vehicle that allows the reader to experience an orchestrated set of events that forces them to be uncomfortable enough to say, “If only…” (“If only the protagonist made this choice, or saw this action, or heard this statement…”). Irony does not offer answers, but highlights inconsistencies which the reader must respond to. And if the reader no longer responds to the subtle suggestions, then the ironic meaning is lost. This is the reflective nature of dramatic irony. When the reader can follow along with the author; follow the bread crumbs and reflect, “If only…”, the reader is participating in the work, bringing to the story their own idiosyncrasies, allowing the piece to adapt with themselves; if the reader does not, then an ironic piece will be taken as obtuse and unsatisfying.