In "The Cask of Amontillado," how is irony used in the story?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are examples of irony seen throughout Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story, "The Cask of Amontillado."

  • Fortunato is garbed in a jester's (fool's) costume. It seems highly appropriate for the foolish decision he will make when he follows Montressor into the catacombs in quest of the vintage Amontillado.
  • Fortunato states that he " 'will not die of the cold.' " When Montressor responds, " 'True, true,' " he knows beforehand how Fortunato will meet his demise.
  • When Fortunato asks Montressor if he is of the brotherhood of Masons and asks for a secret sign, Montressor produces a trowel--a brick mason's tool. It is with the trowel that Montressor will wall up Fortunato in his solitary death chamber.
  • It is ironic that the wine cellar doubles as the family catacombs--a burial place for the dead. Fortunato willingly follows Montressor to his designated entombment.
  • The story takes place "during the height of the carnival season," a time of merriment for most people, but not for Fortunato.
  • Fortunato's name means "fortunate." Obviously, he is not on this day.

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