What are some examples of verbal irony, situational irony, and dramatic irony in "The Cask of Amontillado"?  

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

VERBAL IRONY.  My favorite example of verbal irony in "The Cask of Amontillado" comes when Fortunato has a coughing fit during their descent into the catacombs.

     "Enough," he said; "the cough's a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough."
     "True—true,” I replied..."

Montresor already knows how Fortunato's life will end, and it will certainly not be from the cough.

SITUATIONAL IRONY.  Fortunato appears fresh from the carnival, wearing the costume of a court jester--a fool.

The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand.

Montresor seems pleased to see Fortunato dressed in this manner, and it is certainly fitting, since Montresor will make Fortunato appear even more foolish when he tricks his foe into following him to his final resting place.

DRAMATIC IRONY.  Fortunato is suddenly fettered to a wall by Montresor in a standing position alongside the bones of Montresor's own dead family members. He has been duped into the catacombs--that double as a wine cellar--for the purpose of not drinking a bottle of rare Amontillado, but to remain alongside the other corpses that surround him. He will die a slow and agonizing death; his body will soon deteriorate, becoming a skeleton, unidentifiable to the others around him.

Read the study guide:
The Cask of Amontillado

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question