What are examples of dramatic irony in the story," Cask of Amontillado"?Edgar Allan Poe's "Cask of Amontillado"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dramatic irony is so called because it is often used on stage.  In this kind of irony, a character in the play or story believes one thing is true, but the audience or reader knows otherwise.  In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Cask of Amontillado," there is obvious dramatic irony present in the characterization of the ironically named Fortunato.  For, he foolishly believes that Montesor invites him to taste the Amontillado because Montesor desires his expertise as a connossieur.  Of course, the reader knows that Montesor is bent upon revenge for "the thousand injuries of Fortunato" he has supposedly borne and lures Fortunato into his catacombs on the pretext of tasting the wine when he fully intends to kill him instead.

In fact, the narrative of Poe's story revolves upon the exploitation of this irony by Montesor as he feigns concern for Fortunato's health and pretends to be a Freemason with his trowel and casually shows Fortunato his family coat of arms whose motto suggests revenge. Through all this pretense of Montesor's, the unsuspecting Fortunato is lured deeper and deeper into the catacombs where he will soon be buried himself. 

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The Cask of Amontillado

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