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The Cask of Amontillado

Satisfactory Essays
Edgar Allan Poe is one of greatest American authors and poets. He is well-known as a master of using irony in his story. “The Cask of Amontillado” is a horror story about revenge of Montresor upon Fortunato. Fortunato believes Montresor is his good friend, but he ends up with being chained and walled in to the catacombs. There are three types of irony used in this short story: verbal irony, dramatic irony, and situational irony. Using these ironies, Poe wants the readers to understand about Montresor’s “friendship” with Fortunato.

The first irony is verbal irony. Verbal irony is a figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant. There are many examples of this kind of irony through this story. The first irony is the name “Fortunato.” Fortunato’s name suggests good fortune, or of being fortunate, but he is exactly the opposite, he is killed. Another irony is when Fortunato follows Montresor go to the vault, Montresor acts like he cares about Fortunato’s health, “we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible.” (1202) But readers know from the beginning of the story, Montresor only wants to kill Fortunato. “And I to your long life,” (1202) Fortunato has lived out his life already, it is about to be over. Going deeper into the vaults, Fortunato gets more and more coughing, and Montresor shows his concern to Fortunato’s health “Come, we will go back ere it is too late. Your cough—“It is nothing.”(1202) But Montresor knows that the more he acts as he cares Fortunato, the more Fortunato wants to reach Amontillado-his dark fate. Fortunato is a man who is being blindly led to his death by someone who he feels as an admiring friend, but this friend is actually a person in searching for his own revenge.

The second type of irony used in this short story is dramatic irony which irony is when the characters do not know and the people reading the story or watching the play does know. Fortunato appears with an ill-looking “He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted but the conical cap and bells.”(1200) He dresses like a jester, and there are a big joke on him soon.
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