Why is there such an abundant use of irony in poe's "the cask of amontillado" What thematic purposes does it serve

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In the short story The Cask of Amontillado Poe uses humor and acute irony to create a unique message and unveil the theme of revenge and death. The use of first-person narration forces the reader to participate vicariously in the act of revenge. Poe shows that human beings are often driven by self-destructive impulses.


The main character, Fortunato, is portrayed as an important and cultured man. His name can be interpreted as "the man of fortune", but the irony is that he is faced with bad luck to have wronged a man with a deathless memory and a commitment to "not only punish, but punish with impunity" (Poe 848). The irony is that Poe does not tell readers the exact offense he has committed, and can make no evaluation upon whether Montressor's revenge is justifiable. "Revenge is a dish best served cold" (Poe 541).Readers cannot analyze and evaluate Montressor's right for revenge.
An abundant use of irony is evident in contrasting characters of Fortunato and Montressor. Poe does not directly state that Fortunato is nave or Montressor is a very cunning man. Readers can guess and predict that these characteristics are probably true.
Fortunato's ability to assess and judge situations accurately is questioned at the beginning of the story when he insists upon leaving his family and friends to descend into a damp wine vault in order to answer Montressor's challenge at judging the worth of a cask of wine. Montressor describes: "Putting on a mask of black silk, and drawing a roquelaire closely about my person, I suffered him to hurry me to my palazzo" (Poe 848). ...
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