Irony In Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado

996 Words 4 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe is famous for many things: such as being an alcoholic and marrying his cousin, but above all, he is known for his fantastic use of suspense in “The Cask of Amontillado”("Edgar Allan Poe."). Poe successfully achieves this effect of suspense, through his use of irony, specifically dramatic and verbal irony. Irony, in general, can be described as “a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words” (Irony - Examples and Definition of Irony). Whereas, dramatic irony is defined more as a situation where the nature of the circumstances at hand are understood by the reader, but not by the characters. On the other hand, verbal irony is when a character …show more content…
Montresor vows to punish Fortunato, and utilizes reverse psychology and Fortunato’s inflated ego to coax him into the deep, dark, and damp Italian catacombs where a cask of amontillado is supposedly located. After traversing through the catacombs, their trip ends with Fortunato being chained inside a hole, which is then walled up with bricks by Montresor. From the start of the story, until the last brick is set in place, the reader is overcome with excitement and anxiety, which is due to Poe’s use of irony, regarding when Fortunato will realize his ghastly reality, and impending …show more content…
These characteristics would not be nearly as powerful without the use of irony. The instances of dramatic irony are evident in Fortunato’s attire, and Montresor’s mannerisms, and verbal irony is seen in the dialogue regarding Fortunato’s health, Montresor 's complimentary attitude, and the discussion regarding the Montresor’s coat of arms. Poe’s irony not only builds suspense and adds a touch of macabre humor, but also foreshadows the ending of Fortunato’s demise which leaves readers feeling more informed of the situation at hand than the characters are. This in turn creates a very positive reader experience overall. In conclusion, without Poe’s impressive use of irony, “The Cask of Amontillado” would not be the epitome of short story success that readers know and adulate

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