The Cask of Amontillado

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Fiction, The Cask of Amontillado Pages: 3 (820 words) Published: March 23, 2013
Literary Devices
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe is a great example of usage of literary devices. Literary devices help the author portray his point. Readers use these devices to analyze and interpret the story. The use of a literary device provides a punch to the story and gets the reader’s full attention. Literary devices help express a particular idea in a meaningful way. Poe uses irony, symbolism, and foreshadowing to enhance the mind of readers.

Irony is usually defined as the difference between what is said and what is really meant. Poe uses extensive irony throughout the story. James Gargano suggests that Poe’s tale presents an ironic vision of the two men. They are surrogates of mankind who enter upon a venture that really exposes their psychological isolation. An example of irony early in the story can be seen when Montresor says, “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met” (Poe 2). The irony here is Montresor planned to meet him at the carnival and Fortunato does not know he is not really luckily met. Montresor’s plans are to murder him. Another use of irony is Fortunato’s clothes. Fortunato is known to be a man who is “rich, respected, and admired” (Poe 3). His clothes are representative of a clown or jester, not the up-standing man he portrays himself to be. James Gargano also states that Montresor, the stalker of Fortunato, is both a compulsive and pursued man; for in committing a flawless crime against another human being, he really commits the worst of crimes against himself.

Another way Poe uses literary devices is his use of symbolism. Montresor’s family motto is, "Nemo me impune lacessit," means, "No one insults me with impunity" (Poe 4). The motto suggests that they tolerate no insult and will punish anyone who does so. The punishment is symbolic of Montrsor’s ultimate intention. Also, the use of the Amontillado is a sign of symbolism. The Amontillado is basically the bait. Montresor knows Fortunato takes pride in his...

Cited: Gargano, James W. “’ The Cask of Amontillado’: A Masquerade of Motive and Identity” Studies
in Short Fiction, Vol, IV, No-2, Winter, 1967 119-26. Rpt. In Short Story Criticism. Ed.
Anna Sheets Nesbitt. Vol 35. Gale Group, Detroit: 2000, 311-314. Print.
Gargano, James. “Delusion in the Story.” “The Cask of Amontillado.” Philadelphia; Chelsea
House Publishing, 1998. Blooms Literary Reference Online. Facts on File Inc. Web. 5 March 2013. http://www.fofweb.com
Poe, Edgar Allen. “The Cask of Amontillado.” 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology.
Ed. Beverly Lawn. 4Th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013 14-20. Print
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