Imagine if Socrates were never really trying to be ironic, and Plato just decided to make him that way. That’s wrong, however. That wouldn’t really be possible. Imagine, instead, if Plato were being sincere. Imagine if he copied verbatim what Socrates said and did and he believed it all was sincere.
But why wouldn’t the former be possible? Because if we are to believe that Plato gave us an accurate representation of Socrates, then the words themselves make him ironic. If Socrates weren’t ironic, then Plato would have written it differently. Thus, Plato makes the writing ironic, the character likely follows.
Then again, Plato could be lying. Socrates could have been very sincere, but Plato saw him ironically. Or he saw the world ironically.
The question for me then becomes, what is the deal with sarcasm, why would irony become something in which the speaker means the opposite of what he says. I suppose sarcasm lends itself to the world of speaking in that the speaker may send a generous message to his listeners with sarcasm whereas irony only settles into it afterward, like the dust settling down slowly after it has been kicked up.
Back to my original posits. It is interesting to point out here the mirror of speaking and interpreting. The speaker can speak ironically, meaning what he says and also meaning its opposite. And the listener can listen ironically, taking what is said and interpreting it to mean both what it is saying and its opposite.
What of the person who says something that is interpreted ironically, but they are being sincere? What would happen when you interpret things sarcastically?
An example, a memory. Single boy likes girl in relationship. Single boy tells girl about another girl who he likes who is also in a relationship. Girl says, regarding the other girl, “lose the zero, get with the hero.”