Irony in “The Cask of Amontillado”

See the many different kinds of irony used by Edgar Allan Poe in "The Cask Of Amontillado".

One of the main writing techniques used in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan

Poe is irony. In the story Poe used many different types of irony. Poe’s use of irony is extremely

fascinating in this story.

            Verbal irony is often used in this story when characters say something, buy mean the

opposite. An example of this being observed is when Montressor tells his house servants not to

leave for the evening of Carnival. This is ironic because he actually wanted them to leave in

order for there to be no witnesses to what was about to occur. Another example would be

when Montressor toasts to Fortunato’s long life. This is ironic because he later plans to kill

Fortunato. A final example of verbal irony is when Montressor asks Fortunato if he would like to

turn back when Fortunato is chained to a wall. Montressor has no intention to let Fortunato

return, however. That is how verbal irony is used in this story.

            Situational irony is also often used in the story when something happens that is not

expected to happen. An example of this, seen in the story, is when Montressor pulls out a

trowel when Fortunato asks him if he is a mason. This is ironic because it is expected that

Montressor would perform a sign like Fortunato did, by moving the bottle in a pattern. Another

example in the story is when Fortunato is offered to turn back, but he continues. This is ironic

because it is expected that he would want to leave if he did something so bad to Montressor. A

final example in the story would be when Fortunato screams and Montressor in response

screams back louder. This is ironic because it is expected that Montressor would ignore

Fortunato or try to make him be quiet. That is how situational irony is used in this story.

            Dramatic irony is also used in this story quite often, when the reader knows something

that the character does not know. An example of dramatic irony being used in the story is when

the reader knows that Montressor plans to kill Fortunato. This is ironic because the reader

knows this, but Fortunato does not. Another example would be when the reader knows that

Montressor does not care about Fortunato’s cough or welfare, but Fortunato does not. A final

example, found in the story, is when the reader knows Montressor feels a little guilty about

what he did because he says his heart hurt a little. This is ironic because Montressor himself

does not know he feels guilty and denies it saying it must be the air. That is how dramatic irony

is used in this story.

            It is easy to see by the use of so many different forms of irony in “The Cask of

Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, that irony was very important in this story. Verbal irony is

 used in Poe’s many kind words. Situational irony is seen in Fortunato’s various mistakes.

Dramatic irony is observed by the reader knowing Montressor’s true intentions, but Fortunato

being clueless. That is how verbal, situational, and dramatic irony are used in “The Cask of

Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe.

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1 Comment
  1. Susan B. Anthony
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you!

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