Ironic Poe Essay

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Ironic Poe “The Cask of Amontillado” is a horrific short story, which revolves around the themes of revenge and pride. The use of irony conveys a reality different from appearance and gives the story a touch of comedy and originality. We find irony in the names of the characters, the scenery, the attire, and the dialogue Montresor has with Fortunato throughout the story. From the beginning, we can see the irony that Edgar A. Poe puts in his story. The name Fortunato would clearly imply that this is a man of good fortune, when actually he was about to face the end of his life. “Only three names are mentioned in the work, Fortunato, Luchesi, and Montresor, all three of which are suggestive of treasure.” (Womack 1) The setting itself in which the story takes place also contains an ironic element. It is during a carnival that the characters meet. “It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend.” (Poe 611) Carnival is supposed to be a time of celebration and happiness for everybody. However, in the tale it is a time for revenge and death. The atmosphere changed drastically when the two protagonists leave the joy of the carnival for the gloomy and desolate catacombs beneath Montresor’s palazzo. “The location quickly changes from the lighthearted activities associated with such a festival to the damp, dark catacombs under Montressor’s palazzo” (Womack 3) We learn from the narrator that when he first meets Fortunato, he was apparently drinking. He was dressed in many colors, resembling a jester. “He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley.” (Poe 611) His costume suggested that he would be the one playing the fool. Fortunato becomes; “an extremely vulnerable human being whose nature is revealed by his costume, that of a fool.” (Gargano
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