Irony and Symbolism in “the Cask of Amontillado”

Topics: Irony, Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado Pages: 3 (1100 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Irony and Symbolism in “The Cask of Amontillado”
In the short story "The Cask of Amontillado," Edgar Allan Poe writes in first person point of view, from the perspective of Montresor, the narrator of this tale, who seeks revenge against Fortunato. Montresor began to develop the perfect plan for revenge. During the carnival season, Montresor meet with Fortunato and decides to implement his plan carefully not to arouse Fortunato's suspicions through irony. Poe's story describes the inner workings of a murderer's mind, who has lived the memory of Fortunato's death for fifty years. Poe uses different types of irony and symbolism in the conversations between Montresor and Fortunato which are discussed in the following paragraphs. First, Poe uses dramatic irony in the story. For example, Montresor expresses concern about Fortunato's and says, "Come, I said, with decision, 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" (Poe). Both the reader and Montresor know of his plan of murder that awaits Fortunato when he descends into the catacombs in search for the wine. But, Fortunato does not suspect that Montresor is capable of such an act. Montresor pretends to be concerned about Fortunato's health, when he says they should go back. Ironically, Montresor could care less about Fortunato's health; he is concerned about his own advantage of manipulation by luring him into the catacombs to carry out his plan. Montresor wants to be responsible for Fortunato's death. Montresor does not want Fortunato to die of a cough or from the niter in the catacombs, but of his own plan. The drunken Fortunato is the only one in the story who is unaware of Montresor's real motives; which demonstrates situational irony. Another example is when the two men are having a conversation about returning to the carnival....
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