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:Edgar Allan Poe:

Style Analysis

Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe

"It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. 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.

I said to him--'My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking to-day! But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts.'

'How?' said he. 'Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!'

'I have my doubts,' I replied; 'and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.'


'I have my doubts.'


'And I must satisfy them.'


'As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi. If any one has a critical turn, it is he. He will tell me--'

'Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.'

'And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own.'

'Come, let us go.'


'To your vaults.'

'My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature. I perceive you have an engagement. Luchesi--'

'I have no engagement;--come.'

'My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the severe cold with which I perceive you are afflicted. The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with nitre.'

'Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado! You have been imposed upon. And as for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado.'

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


Style Analysis

"The Cask of Amontillado" is a story in which every aspect contributes to a certain unique style. Both dramatic and verbal ironies play an important role in this process.

 In this story, dramatic irony takes place when it is revealed what will become of Fortunato. However, the character persists on his decline into the catacombs in search of the Amontillado. Poe additionally adds to this effect by calling the character Fortunato, who in reality isn’t fortunate. Finally, Poe also dresses him in a fool's costume seeing as Montresor plans to make a fool of him as part of his “dark” plan.

Furthermore, there are various examples of verbal irony contained by Montresor's words. Montresor conveys concern about Fortunato's health and numerous times hints that they should turn back. This allegedly for fear that Fortunato's cough will get worse as a consequence of the cold and humidity of the catacombs. Finally, there is an example of this when when Montresor toasts to Fortunato's long life, but not in the way that Fortunato means.

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