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Nicholas Di Maria
Irony in the Cask of Amontillado
Throughout the semester, we read many short stories, and all of them had some dramatic
twist to them. In some of them, there was irony and which means “An incongruity
between what is expected to happen and what actually occurs.” I chose to write about The
Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allen Poe.
In the story The Cask of Amontillado, Poe uses a lot of irony with his characters right from the beginning of the story. One of his main characters is named fortunato, but in the end, he is the least fortunate person in the story, because he is killed by Montresor. Poe also uses a lot of irony in his writing when the characters are speaking. For example, the main character, Montresor, first tells Fortunato that he does not want him to come down to taste the Amontillado. Montresor says that it is cold and damp in the catacombs, and he does not want Fortunato to get sick. All through their decension into the catacombs, Montresor is expressing his worries about Fortunato’s life. However In the back of his mind, Montresor, knows that he is taking fortunato down into the catacombs with the sole intention of killing him. By his actions and his words, the reader cannot even imagine what Montresor plans to do,
because the way he leads him down the catacombs is by saying, we should turn back, you are sick, I will get Luchesi to taste the Amontillado, but Montressor knows that Fortunato will not stop because he is. Montressor knows that Fortunato is very arrogant, and even says that Luchesi may be just good as a wine connoisseur as him. Montressor knows that this will get Fortunato into the catacombs, because he thinks he is the best, that is just his nature.
What is ironic about the whole conversation down through the catacombs is that Montresor seems to be worried about Fortunato’s health, but he is taking fortunato to kill him. It is also very ironic that Montresor tells all of his servants to stay at home? Nothing. On the night of the big festival, and the night of this horrific crime, but he tells his servants he is not going to be there, he tells them he will be out all night. So what could make these servants stay on the biggest festival night of the year, when there master is not even home? , nothing. Montressor knows that if any questions should arise about the dissapearance of Fortunato, all of the servants would say nothing unusual happened that night in the house, even if they were not there, for fear of getting in trouble with Montressor.
It is also ironic that when they are in the catacombs and Fortunato asks Montresor if he is a member of the masons, Montresor says yes, when Fortunato asks for a sign, Montresor pulls out a trowel from behind his back. The masons is a brotherhood, a club for men, but has nothing to do with masonry, also known as bricklaying, or building things. This is ironic because Fortunato does not mean a mason in that sense, he means a member of the brotherhoods of the masons, but when he pulls out the trowel from his cloak Fortunato does not think this is strange. In the end, all of these ironic situations, it leads up to one thing, a perfect murder.
So in conclusion this story is filled with ironic situations, it may be as simple as Fortunato’s name, or a complex as Montresor’s plan to get rid of Fortunato. That is what makes this whole story ironic. The reader never sees it coming, and neither did Fortunato. From the way Montresor was acting, the reader might have gotten the impression that they were friends, and never expected that Montressor was going to kill Fortunato.
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