Edgar Allan Poe the Mastermind
Poe shows few bits of irony in The Cask of Amontillado. Starting with the setting it’s set at a carnival that is already ironic. The carnival is a place of happiness and excitement, but what occurs in the story is anything but happy and exciting (462). Another thing that is very ironic is Fortunato’s name means fortunate and well after all he was not fortunate at all. Fortunato’s was wearing a jester outfit in the story, but he is not just to be laughed at; he is supposed to make others laugh and be aware of what is going on. But Fortunato is not aware of anything that was going on, that’s what makes this ironic. According to Charles N. Nevi, the dialogue between Fortunato and Montresor has many examples of irony. For example Montresor calls Fortunato “friend” in the story and it’s ironic because the readers know Montresor’s feelings towards Fortunato (462). When Montresor and Fortunato where in the catacombs Fortunato tells Montresor, “ I will not die of a cough” and Montresor makes a remark knowing that he will be the reason why Fortunato will die (462). Poe’s use of irony in this story makes it special to other writers; Nevi says, “The single effect in this story is irony, and everything, from a character’s name to the setting, to almost every word Montresor utters…” this gives the reader more meaning to the story (463).
Poe uses an abundance of symbolism in The Cask of Amontillado. One symbol Poe uses a lot in the story is Amontillado, as stated by Jandaghi in the article, “Amontillado is a kid of wine. Is the symbol of blood and sacrifice.” (317). So that means Fortunato was like the wine he was the one getting sacrificed in the story. Jandaghi then tells us that Amontillado represented temptation and did not represent sacrifice, because Amontillado tempted Fortunato to end up killing himself (317). Another symbol in the story is the number eleven, Fortunato will come across with the last, eleventh row of brick wall where he died (317). Fortunato’s outfit was a symbol in the story, Poe narrates his outfit as “ He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells.” (697). Fortunato was dressed like a fool or a Jester, it is a symbolic representation of what Montresor really is. The number two is another symbol that is used in the story, Jandaghi writes the number two to symbolize Montresor’s feeling of revenge and hatred towards Fortunato (317). Poe makes his readers very spooked, terrified at the end of the story, because of all theses symbols he put in to make the story more entertaining.
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Poe uses imagery throughout the whole story, The Cask of Amontillado. He uses imagery to make a very strange portrait of Montresor and Fortunato walking through the catacombs. Poe says, “see, it increases. It hangs like moss upon the vaults. We are below the river’s bed. The drops of moisture trickle among the bones….” he makes the catacombs sound to so strange, nasty, and weird (699). Another example of imagery was when Fortunato and Montresor talking about going to the vault, “My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the serve cold with which I perceive you are afflicted. The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with nitre.” they explain how bad the vaults are and how they are covered with chemicals (698). Then Montresor was covering up Fortunato with stone and mortar, “I laid the second tier, and the third, and the fourth; and then I heard the furious vibration of the chain.” this is another use of imagery by Poe (700). Poe’s use of imagery is very impressive and helps the reader understand some of the events that happened inside The Cask of Amontillado.