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Irony in The Cask of Amontillado When people hear the name Edgar Allan Poe ninety nine percent of the time the first thing that pops into their mind is horror and rightfully so A classic example of Poes command of the horror genre is his short story The Cask of Amontillado This short story however isnt chock full of horror the horror in the story comes at the end and is quite a shock to the reader What makes this story so powerful is how shocking the horrific conclusion is and Poe uses a variety of literary tools to create this effect An excellent example of one of these literary tools is Poes use of irony Poe extensively uses irony throughout the entire story from the characters exterior and interior traits to their actions and dialog there are numerous examples of dramatic and verbal irony What makes these ironies so effective is the way Poe mask the ending in them These ironies foretell Fortunatos demise but the reader will not fully realize just how ironic they are until the end It is how Poe ties these ironies together with the ending that they are so effective in magnifying the shock and horror of the storys ending The character of Fortunato himself contains many ironies when considering Montresors plans for him First of these ironies is his name Fortunato a play in the word fortunate which is extremely ironic because Fortunato will prove to be anything but fortunate The next ironic detail about Fortunato we read is found in how he is dressed Because it is the middle of the carnival season Fortunato was dressed in costume He had on a tight fitting parti-striped dress and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells Poe p 22-23 We see here that Fortunato has decided to dress as a jester for carnival this will prove to be an ironic choice
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