September 12, 2003
Irony in "The Cask of Amontillado"
In the short story, "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe, Poe uses two types of irony, dramatic and verbal. Dramatic irony is when the reader perceives something that a character in the story does not. Poe uses this type of irony in the character Fortunato. Verbal irony is when the character says one thing and means something else. This type of irony can be recognized in the statements that the characters, Fortunato and Montresor, say to one another. The name of the character, Fortunato holds dramatic irony within itself. The name Fortunato resembles the word fortunate. In this story, the character Fortunato is anything but fortunate. At the beginning, Fortunato believes that he is fortunate to have a friend, Montresor, who believes to have found a pipe of Amontillado. However, in the end Fortunato learns that he has been tricked and is buried alive. Another ironic feature about the character Fortunato, is the way he is described to be dressed, like a court jester. The time period in which The Cask of Amontillado takes place, court jesters are considered fools. Throughout the story, Fortunato is fooled to believe Montesor's claim of the Amontillado. When Montresor chains Fortunato to the wall the statement that he says, makes Fortunato look like a fool. "' Pass your hand over the wall; you cannot help feeling the nitre. Indeed, it is VERY damp. Once more, let me IMPLORE you to return. No? Then I must positively leave you. But I must first render you all the little attentions in my power,'" (6). Montresor is telling Fortunato about all the chances he has give him
to return, but Fortunato would not listen. Therefore, in Montresor's mind, Fortunato brought his death upon himself, which makes him the fool. As Montresor and Fortunate walk through the catacombs, many verbal ironic statements are made. While walking in the catacombs, Fortunato begins to...
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