Edgar Allan Poe's works are full of symbolism and irony. The irony he utilized makes the tension in his stories more felt and intense. Edgar Allan Poe's stories uses clear symbolism with muted irony. Poe uses irony in his stories to increase tension, enhance the horror, or communicate a theme or message.
In the pages of Poe’s books abound numerous examples of these irony. The symbolism combined with iron made Poe’s story a more interesting read. The absence of these two elements would not have made his stories as effective as they are.
Dramatic and Verbal Irony
Take for instance, "The Cask of Amontillado". The irony in the story exists in both dramatic and verbal. Both are essential to the story. Dramatic irony pertains to the part that the reader is aware of something that the character knows nothing of. Dramatic irony is evident when the reader knows that a dreaded fate awaits Fortunato as he descends the catacombs to pursue Amontillado.
Verbal irony is when a character says something but means another. Verbal irony is exemplified by Montresor expresses concern about Fortunato's health. He even tries to persuade Fortunato to turn back because the dampness of the catacombs might worsen his cough. To which, Fortunato assures, "I will not die of a cough." Montresor says, "True--true...."
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Verbal irony is also evident when Montresor wishes Fortunato long life in a toast. Then he says that he is a mason, but not the same way Fortunato defines it. "In pace requiescat!" ("Rest in peace!") completes the verbal irony of the story. "In pace" could also mean a very secure monastic prison
Irony in Poe's Tell-Tale Heart
The Tell-tale Heart another tale by Poe that is full of irony. The narrator keeps insisting that he is sane. : "You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded . . ." (Poe 121)....
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