The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

The Cask of Amontillado book cover
Start Your Free Trial

As they head to catacombs, Fortunato states, “I will die of a cough.“ What is ironic about this statement?

Expert Answers info

Nate Currier eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseProfessional Writer

bookB.A. from Sarah Lawrence College


calendarEducator since 2019

write126 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

The quote you are citing is Fortunato saying “the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough.” Even so, the quote is full of irony.

Fortunato is coughing somewhat due to nitre in the damp walls. At this moment, Fortunato is drunk and giddy. He believes he is having a good night with his good friend, and has just come from a festival in the streets. The pure irony of his statement is that Fortunato feels so far away from death at that moment. In fact, he probably feels very alive. He had no way of knowing that he was venturing downward into his own demise.

Adding to the irony is the narrator responding: “True…but you should use all proper caution. A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.” The narrator knows with certainty that Fortunato is not going to die from a cough, since he is about to kill the unfortunate man himself. He goes on to use the cough as an excuse to get Fortunato to drink even more, increasing his drunkenness and...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 906 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,940 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write9,838 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write10,137 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial