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The Cask of Amontillado

Uploaded by gockets on Mar 20, 2004

The Cask of Amontillado

In his poem, “The Cask of Amontillado,” Edgar Allan Poe utilizes irony to make his tale more interesting and entertaining for the audience. Throughout the story there are several different examples of this, however there are three main ironic points that stand out and contribute that most.
The first instance of irony takes place when and leading up to when Montresor seals Fortunato in his tomb. As he is dying he must have heavily regretted his insistence upon continuing deep into the catacombs. Many times Montresor suggests that the two head back, but Fortunato continually insists that, “[his] cough's a mere nothing; it will not kill [him],” and that, “[he] shall not die of a cough." Fortunato was right – it would not be his cough that killed him, but rather his adamancy that his cough would not.
Another instance of irony takes place around the same time as the first. As he stand dying, attempting to comprehend what had just happened to him, Fortunato must realize that that the one thing that truly makes him is what finally did away with him – his love of wine. As the text says, “Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere.” It was this sincerity that drove him to not accept Montresor’s various invitations to leave the catacombs (“Come. We will go back; your health is precious.” )
The third and final example of irony in The Cask of Amontillado takes place when Montresor realizes that Fortunato is dead. After repeatedly calling Fortunato’s name, Montresor collects himself and says, “In pace requiescat,” which translates as “rest in peace.” While this itself does seem a bit ironic since Montresor kills Fortunato and then wishes him peace, it can’t yet be fully appreciated. In Italian “in pace requiescat” does translate as “rest in peace,” but the phrase, “in pace” by itself means a, “secure, monastic prison.” This description very well represents Fortunato’s final resting place – secure because it is deep underground and behind a brick wall, and monastic because it’s location is very secluded and almost has a religious air about it because of the human remains scattered about.
In closing, irony is indeed a very important part of this story, and it would have much less impact...

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Uploaded by:   gockets

Date:   03/20/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   2 pages (478 words)

Views:   19573

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