illustration of Fortunato standing in motley behind a mostly completed brick wall with a skull superimposed on the wall where his face should be

The Cask of Amontillado

by Edgar Allan Poe

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What are three examples of dramatic irony in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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Three examples of dramatic irony in "The Cask of Amontillado" include:

  • the carnival scene where Montresor fabricates a story about Amontillado wine. The reader knows that he is manipulating Fortunato, who is completely unaware of Montresor's true intentions;
  • when Montresor feigns concern for Fortunato's health and suggests that they leave the vaults; and
  • when Montresor toasts to Fortunato's long life.

In each instance, Fortunato fails to recognize that Montresor is plotting his demise.

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In some ways, almost the entire story can be seen as an example of dramatic irony. This kind of irony is created when the reader or audience knows something that one or more characters do not. Montresor tells his audience immediately that he never threatened Fortunato but, rather, allowed the man to believe that he had no "cause to doubt [Montresor's] good will." Thus, we know a great deal more than Fortunato—that Montresor is actively plotting Fortunato's "immolation" for example—throughout almost the whole story.

When Montresor says that Fortunato is clearly busy and that he will go to see Luchesi instead, this creates dramatic irony because we know that Montresor has been searching for Fortunato specifically and will not seek out another local wine expert.

When Montresor explains that he had told his servants "not to stir from the house" and that he would not be home all night, he knows that this will "insure their immediate disappearance"; we know something that the servants don't, creating dramatic irony.

When Montresor says that the "gait of [his] friend was unsteady" due to alcohol, this creates dramatic irony because we know that he does not see Fortunato as a friend.

When Montresor offers Fortunato some Medoc as a "proper caution" against the cold and the nitre, we know that he is not actually concerned for Fortunato's health but is actually getting him drunk in order to manipulate him more easily.

In the end, however, one could argue that a different dramatic irony is created. Early on, Montresor said that one of his requirements for revenge is that he exact it with impunity, without incurring any negative consequences for himself. He now says that, when he went to fit the final brick into the wall that would imprison Fortunato, he "struggled with its weight." He has just erected an entire wall of these bricks, so it seems unlikely that he would just now struggle with one unless something else besides physical weakness were causing the struggle. Perhaps he feels guilty, making it hard to place the final brick.

After Montresor places the final brick, he says, "My heart grew sick—on account of the dampness." Again, though, the dampness hasn't bothered him this whole time, so why would it bother him now? Perhaps, again, his heart feels sick because his conscience is burdened by his deed. Further, the fact that he's telling this story some "half of a century" after the events could also indicate that he's been carrying around some guilt. If this is the case, then he has NOT achieved impunity—the burden of guilt is a negative consequence—and thus did not truly achieve his revenge, though he does not seem to realize this. Thus, dramatic irony is created here as well.

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Dramatic irony occurs throughout Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" as Montresor cleverly manipulates his enemy Fortunato as part of his malicious revenge plot. One example of dramatic irony takes place when Montresor runs into Fortunato at the carnival and begins to manipulate his pride. Montresor fabricates a story regarding his recent purchase of the rare Amontillado and says that he is on his way to consult Luchesi about its authenticity. This is considered dramatic irony because the reader is aware that Montresor is playing on Fortunato's "weak point" while Fortunato has no clue that he is being manipulated. Fortunato thinks that Montresor is his friend, foolishly believes his story, and insists on following him to his family's catacombs.

Another example of dramatic irony takes place within the vaults when Fortunato begins to cough excessively. Montresor feigns concern for his health and begs him to return. Fortunato responds by commenting that his cough is nothing and says that he will not die of a cough. Montresor replies to Fortunato's comment by saying, "True—true." This is an example of dramatic irony because the reader knows that Montresor is not worried about Fortunato's health and plans on possibly murdering him. Fortunato is completely unaware of Montresor's malevolent intentions and believes that Montresor is being a sincere, concerned friend.

A third example of dramatic irony takes place shortly after Fortunato's coughing fit when he raises his drink and toasts to Montresor's deceased ancestors. Dramatic irony occurs when Montresor toasts to Fortunato's "long life." Once again, the reader is aware that Montresor wishes ill on Fortunato and plots his demise. However, Fortunato is too intoxicated and focused on tasting the Amontillado to recognize Montresor's evil intentions.

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Dramatic irony occurs when characters in a story are unaware of things known by the reader, thereby creating suspense or humor. In the case of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado," we know from the very first paragraph that Montresor, the narrator, seeks vengeance for the unspecified "thousand injuries" inflicted upon him by Fortunato. However, Fortunato remains blissfully oblivious to Montresor's malice until the end of the tale, meaning that many of the two characters' statements take on different meanings when viewed from the perspective of Fortunato or from the perspective of readers. Here are three examples:

When Montresor first brings up the cask, he tells Fortunato, "My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature." Fortunato accepts this compliment blindly, but readers know that Montresor is lying through his teeth.

Shortly thereafter, the two have this conversation:

"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 . . .

Here, Montresor's agreement that the cough won't be fatal sounds to Fortunato like simple acknowledgement. Yet readers understand that Montresor knows the cough won't kill Fortunato, because Montresor plans to kill Fortunato long before the disease has time to turn deadly!

A third example occurs when Montresor describes his coat of arms, "A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel." Fortunato takes the statement at face-value as a factual description of the Montresor family crest. But readers know that Montresor believes that he represents the foot stomping upon the snake that is Fortunato, an inference supported by a Latin motto that translates to "no one attacks me with impunity." Moreover, in a second layer of irony, readers know that Montresor is obsessed and murderous. In all likelihood, they see Montresor, not Fortunato, as the treacherous serpent biting at the heel.

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"The Cask of Amontillado" is shaped by the dramatic irony that is created out of its very first two paragraphs. Here we learn that Poe's narrator (Montresor) desires vengeance against Fortunato and also that he has kept Fortunato himself ignorant of his malice. That is the main dramatic irony that drives this story, with most of its examples serving as an expression of that tension.

This story's action takes place during the carnival, where both Montresor and Fortunato are established as wine connoisseurs. Montresor runs into his enemy and expresses that he has recently acquired Amontillado (though he confesses that he is unconvinced of its authenticity). Reading this conversation, with the knowledge of Montresor's vengeful intentions, one can get a sense by which Poe's narrator is manipulating Fortunato, using the wine as a lure to entice his enemy into whatever trap he has designed. All the while, Fortunato takes Montresor entirely at his will, not suspecting that he has malicious intentions.

When they come to Montresor's home, you can observe another example of dramatic irony, this time involving Montresor's servants:

There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honour of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.

These unseen servants have no suspicion as to the true purpose of Montresor's instructions, which is to remove them from the premises, giving him have free reign to enact his revenge. Meanwhile, there is also Fortunato to consider, who remains not the least bit suspicious about the lack of servants as he continues to walk into Montresor's trap.

As one final example, after they enter into the catacombs, Fortunato starts coughing. At this point, Montresor suggests they turn back:

"Come," I said, with decision, "we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible..."

Knowing what we do about Montresor and his intentions, these words are yet another act of manipulation on Montresor's part (a manipulation of which Fortunato himself remains ignorant). Again, Montresor's malice continues to express itself, while Fortunato remains entirely ignorant to these sinister interactions.

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The essence of dramatic irony is that something is not understood by a character in the play or story which is understood by the audience or the reader. There is nothing that Montresor does not understand, so it must be Fortunato who is the target of dramatic irony. There are many examples of this. 

Fortunato is wearing a jester's costume when Montresor encounters him on the street celebrating the carnival. Montresor says, "How remarkably well you are looking to-day." The reader knows Montresor thinks Fortunato looks like a fool and that this is appropriate because he intends to make a fool of Fortunato. 

Fortunato does not know how truthfully he himself is speaking when Montresor urges him to turn back and he responds:

“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...

The reader knows full well that Fortunato is going to die, but not of a cold or a cough.

A good example of dramatic irony occurs when Montresor tells Fortunato he is also a mason. Fortunato asks for a sign.

“It is this,” I answered, producing from beneath the folds of my roquelaire a trowel.

Fortunato will not understand that Montresor has lured him down here with the intention of murdering him, but the reader understands this all along. When Fortunato sees the trowel he is surprised but he does not understand why Montresor should be carrying it. At this point the reader understands that the trowel will be used as part of the murder plot, but the reader does not yet understand exactly what Montresor intends to do to his victim. Montresor is acting with such brazenness because he is a little bit drunk and because he knows he already has Fortunato at his mercy. Fortunato is unarmed, while Montresor has a rapier. Fortunato is totally drunk and could not defend himself. He is already as good as dead.

Poe's use of irony is subtle because the reader knows what is going to happen but does not understand exactly how it is going to happen until it actually happens. Montresor finally makes his intentions obvious to the reader at the point where he says:

A moment more and I had fettered him to the granite. In its surface were two iron staples, distant from each other about two feet, horizontally. From one of these depended a short chain, from the other a padlock. 

Another example of dramatic irony which runs throughout the story is that Fortunato is eager to taste the Amontillado and the reader knows--or at least is very sure--that this cask of Amontillado does not exist. Fortunato probably has no intention of telling Montresor the truth if he finds that the Amontillado is genuine. He is only interested in the wine because Montresor says he got a bargain. Fortunato would like to buy some for himself. We know he is thinking of putting on a show of tasting the wine, making the facial expressions of a connoisseur, trying another sop, and finally shaking his head and telling Montresor that it is only ordinary sherry. He intends to fool Montresor--but he has fooled him too many times in the past, and this time, as the reader knows, Montresor is going to fool Fortunato. Perhaps the greatest dramatic irony is that Fortunato is chasing after an enormous cask of gourmet wine which does not even exist.

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What are five examples of verbal irony in the story "The Cask Of Amontillado"?

Verbal irony can be defined as the expression of the opposite of what one actually means. Sarcasm is a particularly good example of this. In "The Cask of Amontillado," the wicked Montresor uses verbal irony on a number of occasions as a way of masking his true intentions regarding the hapless Fortunato. He also uses verbal irony to express his immense pleasure at finally gaining revenge on the man who's alleged to have done him a thousand wrongs.

One example of this comes toward the end of the story. At long last, Montresor has finally exacted a most terrible revenge on Fortunato by walling him up alive inside the catacombs. As Fortunato realizes to his horror, this is not an elaborate joke on Montresor's part; he's about to be consigned to his final resting place.

Fortunato desperately pleads for his life, crying out, "For the love of God, Montresor!" Fortunato hopes that by invoking the Almighty he'll make Monstresor realize that what he's doing is wrong. But unfortunately for Fortunato, Montresor doesn't relent; instead, he throws Fortunato's words right back in his face: "Yes," I said, "for the love of God!"

This is a clear example of verbal irony, as Montresor isn't really invoking the name of God at all; he's simply mocking Fortunato's desperate plea.

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What are five examples of verbal irony in the story "The Cask Of Amontillado"?

Verbal irony occurs when words mean the opposite of or are given a different twist on their overt meaning. For example, the name of Montresor's enemy, Fortunato, is an example of verbal irony. Fortunato's name implies he is a lucky or fortunate man: however, he will experience one of the unluckiest of fates when he is walled up alive in the catacombs.

When Montresor refers to himself as a "mason," Fortunato interprets that to mean Montresor is a member of the same secret society he belongs to, the Freemasons. Ironically, however, Montresor is referring to the masonry work he will embark on to wall up Fortunato.

Third, when Montresor tells Fortunato that his "health is precious" in urging to him to go back from the damp catacombs, where the nitre is giving him coughing fits, Montresor is being ironic. Fortunato's health is anything but precious to Montresor.

Fourth, when he has chained Fortunato in the niche where he will leave him walled up, Montresor says to him: "Once more let me implore you to return." Of course, Montresor has not the least intention at this point of allowing Fortunato to return to the party.

Finally, when the walled Fortunato, wanting the "joke" to end, says to Montresor, "Let us be gone," Montresor repeats the phrase ironically. The "us" now becomes a royal we, which is when a person uses the first-person plural pronoun as a singular. The "us" who will be gone is Montresor himself, who will leave Fortunato to his fate—or conversely, the "us" is Fortunato, who will soon "be gone" from life.

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What are five examples of verbal irony in the story "The Cask Of Amontillado"?

Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story "The Cask of Amontillado" is loaded with irony, and there are several excellent examples of verbal irony to be found. My favorite comes when Fortunato, who is suffering from a cold and is bothered by the nitre on the walls of the catacombs, tells Montresor that

"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 end will actually come.

Another example comes when Fortunato asks Montresor if he is a Mason (a member of a secretive fraternal organization). Montresor answers in the affirmative.

"Yes, yes," I said; "yes, yes."

"You? Impossible! A mason?"

"A mason," I replied.

"A sign," he said, "a sign."

"It is this," I answered, producing from beneath the folds of my roquelaire a trowel.

"You jest," he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces.

The trowel Montresor produces is a tool for masonry, and within a few minutes, Fortunato will recognize the true nature of this ironic twist.

Another example of verbal irony comes when Montresor and Fortunato toast one another.

"I drink," he said, "to the buried that repose around us."
"And I to your long life."

Fortunato unknowingly toasts to himself, for he will soon join the dead that repose; Montresor jokingly toasts to Fortunato's life, which he knows will not be a long one.

Yet another example comes when Fortunato ironically congratulates Montresor for the vengeful nature of his family motto.

"And the motto?"

"Nemo me impune lacessit."

"Good!" he said.

The Montresor motto means "No one attacks me with impunity." Fortunato has just applauded the motto that will soon be implemented upon him by Montresor.

A final irony is bestowed upon Fortunato, who still does not recognize that it is not Luchesi who is the fool.

"Proceed," I said; "herein is the Amontillado. As for Luchesi—"

"He is an ignoramus," interrupted my friend, as he stepped unsteadily forward.

In the end, it is Fortunato who is the "ignoramus" for blindly following Montresor to the exact location marked for his final resting place.

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What are two examples of verbal irony in "The Cask Of Amontillado"?

In "The Cask of Amontillado," part of Montresor's delight in committing what he regards as the perfect crime lies in giving the drunken Fortunato various clues to his fate, which he knows his enemy will be too obtuse to notice. When he has already toasted Fortunato's "long life" and reminded him of the sinister motto and coat of arms of the Montresor family, he offers the other man more wine—this time a flagon of the appropriately named De Grave—to revive him. The irony is particularly subtle here. Montresor does not mention the name "De Grave," but if Fortunato is the great connoisseur he pretends to be, he should recognize the name of the wine and the allusion to it being "Of the grave."

Fortunato then makes a strange sign with the bottle, which Montresor does not recognize. This turns out to be part of the masonic ritual, whereby one member of the brotherhood of freemasons can recognize another. Montresor is not a mason, but, when Fortunato asks him about his membership, he claims to be one and produces a trowel from the folds of his roquelaire. Fortunato understands half the joke: a trowel is a tool used by someone who is literally a mason. However, he does not comprehend that this instance of verbal irony is also a sign of how he is going to die.

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What are two examples of verbal irony in "The Cask Of Amontillado"?

As Montresor leads Fortunato to the catacombs, Fortunato begins coughing uncontrollably. Montresor actually wants the old man to follow him, but he also needs to maintain his trust. Turning to him, he tells him that they can go back to protect Fortunato's health. He then adds, "You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter." Fortunato understands this to mean that the people back at the festival and perhaps his own family will miss him if he is gone for too long. What Montresor really means is that Fortunato is a man who will soon be missed because he will cease to exist. And to Montresor, his absence in this world won't matter.

As the two men walk deep into the vaults, Fortunato asks Montresor to remind him what his family shield looks like. Montresor replies that it reflects a human foot crushing a serpent whose fangs are embedded in the heel. He then adds that his family motto is Nemo me impune lacessit, which is Latin for "no one provokes me with impunity." Fortunato responds, "Good." This is ironic because he has inflicted a "thousand injuries" against Montresor, and he has been brought here to pay for "provoking" him. He likely means that this is a "good" family motto, yet his response proves verbally ironic considering Montresor's plans.

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What are two examples of verbal irony in "The Cask Of Amontillado"?

Verbal irony takes place when a speaker purposely makes a contradictory statement and says one thing but means another. In "The Cask of Amontillado," Poe utilizes verbal irony shortly after Fortunato follows Montresor to his abandoned palazzo and down into his family's spooky vaults. An example of verbal irony takes place when Fortunato remarks that he will not die of a cough and Montresor responds by saying, "True—true." This is considered verbal irony because Montresor's response is purposely misleading and he means that Fortunato will be buried alive without directly saying it. Montresor does not want to give his plan away and knows that the intoxicated Fortunato will not notice his hint. Montresor's comment goes over Fortunato's head as he continues to drink wine and follows him further down the vaults.

Another example of verbal irony can be found when Fortunato toasts to the remains of Montresor's descendants and Montresor responds by saying, "And I to your long life." This is considered verbal irony because Montresor is currently plotting Fortunato's horrific death and wants him dead. Montresor's comment is meant to be misinterpreted by Fortunato, who believes that Montresor genuinely wishes him well. Montresor disguises his wicked scheme by using verbal irony to conceal his evil intentions.

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What are two examples of verbal irony in "The Cask Of Amontillado"?

Irony is a difficult concept to precisely nail down, partly because the word has been so loosely applied in common usage, and partly because its definitions overlap with similar but distinct concepts like sarcasm.

Verbal irony might best be defined as saying something that contrasts with what is meant, or with observable reality. There is also an element of intention, either by the speaker or, in the case of literature, by the author, for the contradictory nature of the expression to be apparent to the audience.

One example in The Cask of Amontillado, and probably the most obvious, is Montresor's cruel "Yes, for the love of God!". This has multiple meanings, such as indicating that Montresor believes his actions are righteous, or that he is mocking Fortunato (as in "yes, yes, blah blah for the love of God, I'm enjoying this"). The irony in this quote is in its implications of Godly love; what Montresor is doing is anything but loving or Godly, and there is no interpretation in which this does not strike the reader as the opposite of the meaning of the words.

Another example might include the following exchange:

"Enough," he said; "the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough."

"True -- true," I replied-

In this case, we can forgive Fortunato for not recognizing Montresor's foreshadowing for the threat that it is; Montresor merely seems to be agreeing and supportive, but of what point is uncertain. Maybe he's agreeing that the cough is a "mere nothing", or he's just hurrying Fortunato along; his words seem innocuous. What is clearly meant, at least to the reader, and only because we know of Montresor's intentions, is that Montresor is saying "It's true that you won't die of a cough; you'll die from being bricked up inside these catacombs."

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What is an example of situational irony in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe?

Situational irony is defined as a literary technique in which something unexpected happens, resulting in an opposite outcome that is different from what the reader or characters in the story anticipated. There are many examples of situational irony throughout Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado." Fortunato's name is one example of situational irony because he is anything but fortunate in the story. Fortunato is certainly unlucky to interact with Montresor, who is determined to take his life. It is ironic that a man with such a hopeful, auspicious name is in such a grave, dangerous situation.

Another example of situational irony concerns the initial setting of the story. Montresor runs into his unsuspecting victim at the carnival. The carnival is a merry, joyful place where people go to celebrate and have fun. Fortunato attends the carnival and plans on partying the night away. Ironically, Poe transforms this merry setting into a hostile environment, which is the perfect place for Montresor to lure Fortunato into his trap. Fortunato has no idea that attending the carnival will have a disastrous outcome.

Situational irony also concerns Montresor's explicit orders to his servants and their response to his instructions. Montresor informed his servants that he would not be home until morning and instructed them to not "stir from the house," knowing that they would leave once his back was turned. It is ironic that Montresor's servants do the exact opposite of what was asked of them. This works in Montresor's favor, leaving no witnesses to confirm that Fortunato was with him on the evening he disappeared.

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What is an example of situational irony in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe?

If Fortunato's name is anything to go by, we might expect him to encounter nothing but good fortune. “Fortunato” is the Italian word for fortunate, and so we might think that Poe chose to give him this name to give us an insight into his character.

As it turns out, however, our expectations are thwarted, and herein lies the situational irony. The exact opposite of what we'd expect to happen—Fortunato living up to his name and being lucky—happens, and poor old Fortunato is most unfortunate in being walled up alive in the catacombs by the wicked Montresor.

Further situational irony comes from the jester costume that Fortunato wears for the carnival. Once again, our expectations are confounded. We might expect—as indeed might Fortunato himself—that the carnival would be a fun occasion full of revelry, enjoyment, and laughter. All of this wonderful jollity is symbolized by the jester costume that Fortunato wears.

And yet, once again, situational irony enters into the breach as the fun that Fortunato expected to have turns out to be the exact opposite. As Fortunato isn't some kind of masochist with a death wish, it's safe to conclude that there's nothing remotely fun about his being walled up alive inside the catacombs.

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What is an example of situational irony in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe?

Situational irony is when what happens is the opposite of what is expected. Situational irony runs throughout the entire story because Fortunato is completely unaware of the danger he is in. Fortunato expects to taste a rare wine, not to be murdered. He thinks Montresor is his friend and that Montresor is doing him a favor. Ironically, it is Fortunato who hurries Montresor towards the catacombs. Fortunato has no idea he is hastening toward his own death. As Montresor says:

Fortunato possessed himself of my arm; and putting on a mask of black silk and drawing a roquelaire closely about my person, I suffered him to hurry me to my palazzo.

Throughout their journey deeper and deeper into the catacombs, Fortunato continues to be completely unaware of the dangerous situation he is in. For example, when Montresor offers to take him back because of his cough, which is worsened by the dampness, it is Fortunato who insists on going forward:

"Enough," he [Fortunato] said; "the cough's a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough."

Again, we read the irony in Fortunato's words. He will not die of a cough. He will die of being walled up and left to starve--but he is completely unaware of what is soon to come. 

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What is an example of situational irony in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe?

One example of situational irony from this story is when Montresor explains that he told his servants that he would "not return until the morning" and had given them "explicit orders" to remain in the home in his absence.  For this reason, he knows that they would not be there and his house would be empty when he returned with Fortunato.  One would expect servants to listen to their master's order, especially when it is given so explicitly, but their behavior defies expectation.

Another example of situational irony is that Fortunato is dressed as a fool or jester.  Montresor says that he "wore motley" with a snug, multicolored outfit topped by a conical hat studded with bells.  It was common to wear a costume associated with one's opposite -- men might dress as women and vice versa, the poor might dress like the rich, and so forth -- and Fortunato is not a fool.  In fact, Montresor himself claims that Fortunato "was a man to be respected and even feared."  However, Montresor makes a fool of Fortunato tonight, condemning Fortunato for his pride, the pride which makes it funny for him to be dressed as a fool.  Therefore, it is ironic that Fortunato believes that he has dressed as his opposite, a fool to his real respectability, and then is actually made foolish by the exploitation of his own flaws.

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What is an example of situational irony in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe?

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

Verbal irony is the intentional use of words to mean something different from what the character actually says. Throughout the short story, Montresor continually uses verbal irony during his conversations with Fortunato in order to encourage Fortunato to follow him down into his family's catacombs. 

  • "My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature" (Poe, 2).
  • When Fortunato makes a toast, Montresor responds by saying, "And I to your long life" (Poe, 3).

Situational irony is a discrepancy between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. The short story takes place during carnival season, which is generally happy, fun-filled time. However, Montresor plans and executes a horrific murder during the festive, joyful time.

Dramatic irony is when the audience is aware of something that the characters are not. Throughout the short story, the audience is aware of Montresor’s evil intentions to harm Fortunato the entire time. However, Fortunato is unaware that he is following Montresor to his death. 

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

The Cask of Amontillado, perhaps the most famous of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, is not only the horrific tale of a man immured alive, but also a tour de force of the use of irony. Poe provides the raison d'etre for this when he writes from the outset that "it must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will." From the beginning to the end of this tale of deception, therefore, various kinds of irony are on display.

Verbal irony - saying one thing but meaning the opposite - appears in the greeting Montresor has for the doomed Fortunato: "you are luckily met"; in Montresor's feigned concern for his friend's hacking cough in his damp catacombs: "Your health is precious...You are a man to be missed"; and in Fortunato's reply: "The cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I will not die of a cough."   

Situational irony - when events turn out the opposite of what ought to have been expected - appears when Montresor, on the night of carnival, orders his servants not to leave in his absence, thereby ensuring they would do the opposite; when the non-existent cask of amontillado turns instead into the 'casket' for the unfortunate conoisseur; and when premeditated murder remains unpunished even after fifty years.  

Dramatic irony - when readers know more than the characters - is present in the very name of Montresor's 'enemy', a most unlucky man; is present in Fortunato's doomed fool costume of "tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and [...] head...surmounted by the conical cap and bells"; and is present in the trowel Montresor reveals, sign of Masonic brotherhood to Fortunato, but tool of immurement to Montresor. 

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

Here are some examples of irony from "The Cask of Amontillado" that you have requested.

VERBAL IRONY.  Fortunato claims that "I will not die of a cough." Montressor answers, "True. True." This is ironic because Montressor already knows how Fortunato will meet his end.

SITUATIONAL IRONY.  Fortunato is dressed "motley." He wears the costume of a court jester--a fool. He will prove just how foolish he is by following Montressor to the exact location he has planned for Fortunato's final resting place.

DRAMATIC IRONY.  When Fortunato asks Montressor if he is a member of the Free-Masons (a secretive fraternal organization), Montressor responds that he is. Fortunato asks for a secret sign that all Masons would recognize. Montressor produces a trowel--a common tool used by masonry workers. Fortunato merely scoffs at his companion, but he should have wondered why Montressor was carrying such an object.

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What are some examples of humor in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

The first suggestion of humor in "The Cask of Amontillado" occurs when Fortunato makes his first appearance dressed, ironically, as 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.

When Montresor suggests that he should seek out their mutual friend, Luchesi, as a participant instead, Fortunato replies,

     "Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry."
     "And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own."

Fortunato's cough is of concern to Montresor, and he recommends that the two men go back. But Fortunato must sample the sherry.

     "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, of course, already knows Fortunato's fate. Montresor mocks Fortunato when he makes a toast "to your long life." Another amusing moment occurs when Fortunato asks for a sign that Montresor is also a membership of the fellowship of Masons: Montresor produces a trowel, the tool of trade for masonry. "You jest," Fortunato tells Montresor, but he will soon see that the last laugh is on him.

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Please discuss five examples of dramatic irony in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado."

Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" is rich in both verbal irony and dramatic irony, both of which help create a story in which the narrator.   Montresor, and his victim, Fortunato, inhabit an ironic universe, and this world creates a constant tension between what a character thinks should happen and what actually happens.  Dramatic irony is generally defined as irony in which a character knows less about his or her situation than the reader knows, creating situations that have a different outcome from the character's expectations.  It is as if we are watching a train moving relentlessly toward a brick wall, which one or more characters perceive as an open tunnel.  A wreck is the only outcome.

Poe sets up the framework of dramatic irony as early as the story's second paragraph, creating a web of false expectations for his victim:

It must be understood that . . . I continued as was my wont, to smile in his [Fortunato's] face, and he did not perceive that my smile was at the thought of his immolation.

Montresor has unknowingly created two elements of dramatic irony here. On one hand, we understand that Fortunato, because of the unidentified "insult," has been fooled into believing that Montresor has not been offended by Fortunato's action.  The word immolation, however, means to sacrifice, so the reader is aware of both Montresor's goal and of Fortunato's ignorance of  that goal.  In addition, Montresor appears unaware that he has unconsciously disclosed a serious character flaw: he appears to the reader as a man consumed by hatred and whose nature is deceitful--he smiles in the face of his friend while he is planning to destroy him.

Both verbal irony and dramatic irony combine when Montresor and Fortunato begin the journey into the catacombs to search for the Amontillado.  As Fortunato coughs, Montresor expresses concern and suggests they turn back, to which Fortunato replies:

'Enough," he said; 'the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me.  I shall not die of a cough.' (Paragraph 36)

As Montresor agrees that his friend will not die of his cold, we recall that Montresor's goal is to immolate, to sacrifice, Fortunato, and the tension between Fortunato's false sense of security, on one hand, and the immolation awaiting for him, on the other hand, increases for the reader.

A short while later, the men discuss Montresor's family's coat-of-arms and motto: 

'A human foot d'or, in a field of azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are embedded in the heel.' (Paragraph 46)

When Fortunato asks for the motto, the dramatic irony signals the reader that Fortunato is not even remotely capable of understanding his situation.  Montresor's family motto is based on the concept of retribution, and it is loosely translated as "No one harms me with impunity" (that is, no one harms me without punishment).  Fortunato has no clue that he and Montresor are mirrored in the coat of arms--Fortunato, who is richer and more powerful than Montresor, is represented by the foot crushing the snake; Montresor, a man whose family is declining in power and wealth, is the snake biting Fortunato's heel.  

Verbal and dramatic irony combine again when Montesor "broke and reached him [Fortunato] a flagon of De Grave," which Fortunato drinks until it's gone.  Poe is, of course, playing with words--the wine has a name that can be translated as "of the grave," another instance of verbal irony but, more important, another signal to the reader that Fortunato is an unaware walking dead man.

Perhaps the strongest example of dramatic irony consists of the scene in which Fortunato makes a (presumably) Masonic sign, which Fortunato, who is not a Mason, fails to recognize.  When Fortunato says, "You are not of the masons," Montresor pulls a trowel from under his cloak, and Fortunato, in his bubble of ignorance, simply dismisses as a joke.  At this point, most readers are screaming "Wake up!" to Fortunato, but the ironic world in which these characters inhabit is not subject to intervention.

Lastly, we must recall that Fortunato has been celebrating Carnival and is in the costume of a jester or fool, the most appropriate costume possible for a man who has been fooled so many times that most readers decide he deserves what is going to happen to him.  The dramatic irony here is that, to Fortunato, his costume is merely a costume, but to the reader, his costume symbolizes his nature, which is prideful to a fault and completely incapable of recognizing his danger because he believes Montresor is powerless to harm him.

In sum, then, dramatic irony forms the framework for the story and creates a growing tension between what should happen, according to Fortunato, and what Montresor actually does.  This tension often stays with readers even after the horrific ending when Fortunato is walled up at the bottom of the catacombs--in his jester costume, with its jingling bells.

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What is an example of irony in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

One good example of irony in "The Cask of Amontillado" is in Montresor's continually referring to Fortunato as his friend. This is the man he hates so bitterly that he has been planning for years to murder him in a horrible fashion. He calls Fortunato "my friend" and repeatedly describes him as "my friend," "my good friend,"  and "my poor friend." We understand that Montresor has forced himself to think of Fortunato as his friend for several reasons. For one thing, he wants Fortunato to believe that he regards him as his good friend. Also, Montresor is thinking far ahead. He knows that there will be a great inquiry when it is generally realized that Fortunato has vanished off the face of the earth. He wants to be above suspicion. Nobody would suspect that such a good friend would have any connection with a crime against Fortunato. People will be talking about this disappearance for years, and Montresor, as a very good friend, will have to keep asking about his friend until the investigation and the speculation finally die down. So Montresor has been practicing thinking of Fortunato as his best friend even while he hates him. Every time he uses the word "friend" in dialogue or narration it is ironic. A complex character like Montresor can condition himself to like a man he hates.

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What is an example of irony in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

One good example of irony comes when Fortunato coughs in the catacomb from the damp air; Montresor seems to worry about his ill-health, and asks him to return to the surface:

"We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchesi--"

"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...
(Poe, "The Cask of Amontillado," eNotes eText)

Montresor shows that he is not even slightly worried that Fortunato will die of a cough. This is because Montresor is assured of his own role in Fortunato's death, and knows precisely what will actually kill him. The irony is that, in claiming concern for Fortunato's health, Montresor actually shows his personal assurance that the plan will play out as he intends, and is not worried that anything will interfere. Montresor is also not afraid to show hints of his plan, even displaying the trowel he will use to brick Fortunato into his tomb.

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