The Cask Of Amontillado By Edgar Allan Poe

1056 words - 5 pages

Typically, a carnival masquerade is celebrated as a joyous and social liberation from the masses of mundane daily activities, but in “The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar Allan Poe, the protagonist Montresor creates a different meaning to the festival for his so-called friend Fortunato. Edgar Allen Poe uses an inventive writing style which sets up a situation in the beginning of the story. He intrigues the reader in the first line of the story, “...but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge” (Poe Page 1). Poe uses this stylistic writing by providing subtle pieces of information and imagery to draw the reader in, anticipating the rest of what is to come of Montresor's plan for revenge. In a seemingly harmless exchange of words between men, time begins to draw to an end for Fortunato whose naivety and trust in Montressor earns grim fate as some would believe to be his destiny. Montresor, through his pride, became an angry individual and had felt that Fortunato had caused him “a thousand injuries” (Poe 1). Overshadowed by his delirious thoughts, Montresor’s deep hatred for Fortunato can be perceived as no more than envy or jealousy. Fortunato, a very wealthy man, dabbled into hobbies, such as being an avid wine connoisseur. Along with that Fortunato is part of a high society by being a member of masons. By that, Montresor felt Fortunato’s status and ability to purchase anything he desired, specifically wine, degraded his own status , ultimately causing Montresor to become displeased, disrespected, and unloved. Therefore, forcing Montresor to believe that Fortunato needs to be repressed to protect himself from these insults. In this story, I will argue that through the usage of different types of irony, Montresor did not think of Fortunato as a friend, but rather as more of a target to exact revenge upon.
Edgar Allan Poe uses various uses of irony in this story, one of them being verbal irony, when what the literal meaning of what is said differs completely from what is actually meant. This specific use of irony is used in the story to create a subtle form of humor, create suspense, and lead to foreshadowing. In the story Poe reveals the name Fortunato, which the name suggests good fortune or wealth. Such as the name suggests, Fortunato becomes a very wealthy member in society, but rather being wealthy, Poe uses his name of having good fortune to for foreshadow not his good fortune, but instead, his up and coming death. Much like Fortunato's name, Poe uses Montresor's name as a parallel meaning to his. In the French origin Montresor's name “combines the words montrer (to show) and sort (fate)” (Clendenning 336). As Poe cleverly uses the character’s names to formulate verbal irony he also uses the character’s dialogue to exemplify Montresor’s sarcastic nature as he states in the story, “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met,” (Poe 1). Poe uses that phrase to emphasize the exact opposite of Fortunato's luck of their meeting as Montresor has ill...

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