Irony in “The Cask of Amontillado”

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Edgar Allan Poe is one of greatest American authors and poets. He is well-known as a master of using irony in his story. “The Cask of Amontillado” is a horror story about revenge of Montresor upon Fortunato. Fortunato believes Montresor is his good friend, but he ends up with being chained and walled in to the catacombs. There are three types of irony used in this short story: verbal irony, dramatic irony, and situational irony. Using these ironies, Poe wants the readers to understand about Montresor’s “friendship” with Fortunato.

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.

"A Cask Of Amontillado". Anti Essays. 8 Nov. 2017

The way to analyze a story by Poe—and possibly to analyze any modern short story, since Poe is credited with being the father of the genre—is by starting at the very end with a consideration of the story's "single effect." A single effect is not necessarily a simple effect. The complex effect of "The Cask of Amontillado" is not easy to describe, although most readers probably experience it in a similar way. Since Montresor interprets and relishes his victim's feelings, the preconceived effect might be described as a combination of shock, horror, pity, delight, satisfaction, compassion, and closure.

"The Cask of Amontillado" and the Single Effect

Adhering to his rationale, Poe combines such events as may best aid him in establishing this preconceived effect. For example, Montresor lures Fortunato underground with a cask of Amontillado. It would have to be an imported wine to tempt Fortunato, since excellent domestic wine would be readily available to a wealthy Italian. Both men refer to the cask as a "pipe." It would not have seemed unreasonable to Fortunato that he should have to accompany his host a considerable distance to reach a space large enough for a cask containing 126 gallons of wine.

The Cask of Amontillado - Wikipedia

Poe's Doppelganger As Revealed In

It deals with the subjects of secrets, madness, darkness and death. This gothic style of writing is greatly influenced by disappointment and depression that followed Poe his entire life. This was caused by a number of unfortunate events in his life, including the untimely death of his birth mother and foster mother, a lifetime of poverty, and his foster father, John Allan, who disowned Poe over an argument about family matters. This argument with John Allen shows a possible reason for Montresor’s plot to murder Fortunato in The Cask of Amontillado. Montresor kills him due to his highly esteemed value of family honor.

The Poe Decoder - "The Cask of Amontillado"

Our main character in “The Cask of Amontillado”, Montresor can be construed as a generally insane person or super evil mastermind. It is my understanding that he does not have justification for the deeds and the murder he is going to commit. How can he do this and not have a guilty conscience? How he can he feel nothing? Because he is a man with no remorse, no feelings, no guilt, he either ignores or lacks that little voice that tells someone that “what you’re doing is wrong”. He feels he has suffered at the taunting of Fortunato and his revenge is legitimate.

The Cask Of Amontillado Essay

With this train of thought, we will take a look at Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado through five unique perspectives from different individuals. With each of these offering a better perception on what we know, and what we think we know. Biographical/Genetic Criticism: In an effort to better understand the story, one can look at it from a Genetic or Biographical point-of-view. Much of Edgar Allan Poe’s own personal life experiences greatly influence this story as well as many of his other works. Poe’s choice of literary style was called gothic fiction.

Read this study guide and analysis of "The Cask of Amontillado" for help coming up with thesis statements, passing or test or contributing to class discussion.

1. How does the author want the reader to feel while reading “The Cask of Amontillado”? The author wants the reader to feel indifferent, neither good nor bad

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...Symbolism in The Cask of Amontillado Symbols play an important part in literary works. Most stories are full of them, and each one adds detail and background to the story. Some of them are obvious, and others are hidden away like treasures waiting to be found. Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado is full of all types of symbolism, some examples being the setting, clothing, and even the character names. The biggest symbol in the Cast of Amontillado is the cask itself. Not only is it something spoken of in the story, it is also mentioned in the title, showing its importance. Its dictionary meaning would be a large barrel like container used for storing liquids. However, in the story it means so much more. Symbols usually have connotative meanings as well, which have particular meanings based on the context. In this story, the cask’s connotative meaning is much more important than its denotative meaning. The cask was used to lure Fortunato to his death. The word cask shares the same root as casket, which is used to hold dead bodies for burial. While it did not hold Fortunato‘s body, it was the object that tricked Fortunato into falling into Montresor’s trap. This ended with Fortunato being buried alive, in what ended up being similar to a casket. The cask in this story is an example of a literary symbol, as a cask would not normally be associated with a casket. The meaning of the symbol was wholly established in the story. ...