Examples Of Irony In The Cask Of Amontillado

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Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” is a murderous tale of revenge. Poe takes the reader on a journey revealing the vengeance sought by a mad man, and the principle behind murder as a punishment justified by revenge. Drunken Fortunato pays the price for offending Montresor. Revenge, as shown in this short story, weakens a person’s grip on reality, and zeros their sight in on getting someone back. Ultimately, revenge is what drives Montresor to plot out and murder his friend Fortunato. This story of a perfect crime, or secret murder, is told creatively. Throughout the story and through the character Montresor, Poe presents ironic twists, and drops hints of Fortunato’s death. He shrewdly uses literary elements to show Fortunato’s …show more content…
The Cask of Amontillado” is rich in irony. The irony Edgar Allen Poe included in this short story helps develop the theme of revenge. This irony, both dramatic and verbal, is used throughout the story leading up to the vengeful murder of Fortunato. Kathryn Montgomery Harris recognizes the irony present in this story in the article “Ironic Revenge In Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”” included in “Studies in Short Fiction”. She writes, “This irony gives coherence to the images of the tale and to many of Monstresor’s apparently gratuitous, sadistic sarcasms—and suggest a motive for murder as well.” (333) The title of the short story presents irony. Fortunato is tricked by Montresor into thinking he is being led to a cask of wine, but discovers at the end that he was actually being led to his casket. Fortunato’s name is deeply ironic. How ironic that Poe names the character with completely unfortunate faith Fortunato. Fortunato, plotted, tricked, and murdered by his “friend” as revenge, is a far from fortunate character. When entering the damp ground of the catacombs together, Fortunato begins to cough. Montresor tells …show more content…
Poe gives hints to the reader on how the vengeful story will unfold. A big clue is given to the reader in the first paragraph. It is one that tells the purpose of the story, but does not actually reveal the outcome. In the very first sentence, Montresor tells that Fortunato had insulted him, and he “vowed revenge”. The foreshadowing continues in this paragraph; “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity.” (Poe 722) Joseph F Kishel writes about this story and this foreshadowing in “Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado” in “Explicator”. He recognizes the hints dropped in this first paragraph, specifically pointing out the revenge filled line that says, “to make himself felt as such to him who has done him wrong.” Kishel explains the role of this foreshadowing and this line as leading Montresor “away from direct threats and simple violence to an elaborate plan aimed at making Fortunato realize the full horror of his fate.” (30) The title of “The Cask of Amontillado” is a clue as well. On page 723, it is revealed to the reader that this “cask of Amontillado” is a cask of wine, and that Fortunato has a weakness for wine. It is foreshadowed to the reader that this will play a major part in the story. One characteristic of the story that may make Poe’s readers suspicious is that Montresor orders his servants not to stir from the house. The fact that Montresor tells his servants this and says that they are not to

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