Give an example of the use of humor in "The Cask of Amontillado." In what ways does Poe mix horror and humor?

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chelseaosborne314 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One example of Poe's use of humor can be found in the character of Fortunato, who is clearly highly intoxicated for the duration of the story. To begin with, we learn that he is wearing an incongruous mixture of the fitted, striped dress for the carnival and a conical hat with bells on it that jingled when he moved (much like the clothes and hat of a jester), showing that he is the jester character of the story. Throughout the story, he makes light of the situation, showing little regard for the nitre that grew on the walls of the vault, despite Montresor's "protests" that they should leave for his health; he walks with uneven steps (stumbling in his drunkenness) and the bells on his cap jingle as he does so. Even at the end, when Montresor is sealing him inside the catacomb, he is laughing and saying that it is all a good joke and they would laugh more about it later.

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The Cask of Amontillado

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