Fortunato’s Misfortunes in “A Cask of Amontillado”
In Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “A Cask of Amontillado” the diabolical narrator, Montresor, has only one goal in mind. He seeks to get revenge on his “friend” Fortunato. Montresor composes a plan use Fortunato’s ego to ironically lead him to his death. Fortunato is supposedly a wine expert; however, this expertise will ultimately equip Montresor in his plan to kill him. Poe’s dark short story is filled with irony. “A Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe has irony in almost every line of the story and shows that Fortunato’s misfortunes ultimately lead him to his death.
Poe uses irony in “A Cask of Amontillado” before the story even starts within the title. The word “cask” is meant to be a barrel of wine. However, it is very similar to the word “casket” which is where most people find themselves at the end of their lives. Fortunato thinks he is following Montresor to taste a cask of wine, but essentially he is following Montresor to his own casket. Poe also uses irony is the naming of his characters. Fortunato means fortunate in Italian, but the reader knows from the very beginning that this story is going to have an unfortunate ending for Fortunato. Fortunato thinks he is with a friend and trust Montresor while he is really being led to his death by a former friend who is seeking revenge. Poe’s short story has ironic elements before the plot even starts in the naming of the characters and in the title of the story.
Poe also uses irony in the setting of the story and what each character is wearing. “It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of carnival season, that I encountered my friend” (Poe 392). Carnival is a huge festival with people in costumes, ...
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... be using that trowel to brick him into his own grave. Also verbal irony is when Fortunato drinks the wine and says, “I drink to the buried that repose around us”, and Montresor replies “and I to your long life” (Poe 394). Fortunato is drinking to the dead people around him, but he does not know that soon he himself will be among the dead. Montresor drinks to Fortunato’s long life; however, he knows Fortunato’s life is going to end shortly. Poe uses verbal irony all throughout “A Cask of Amontillado”.
In Edgar Allen Poe’s gothic short story “A Cask of Amontillado” irony is used throughout the entire plot. The untrustworthy narrator is only out for revenge, and uses irony to trick his friend into trusting him. Fortunato is anything but fortunate in this short story, and the use of irony in almost every element of the story creates a suspenseful tale for the reader.
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