In the history of literature, there have always been different themes and genres of writing. But few have been as different or unique as that of the “gothic” literature. Of all the gothic authors of history, few writing has captured the mind and plunged it into the depths of fear as that of Edgar Allen Poe. Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” is a story that shows us how deadly being prideful can be. Themes of dishonour, revenge and questionable justice all come together in this story. In this essay, I will discuss how the setting, irony and the lack of certain details all contribute to the gothic theme and the spine-tingling effect of the story.
The setting and clothing of the story are two of the key…show more content… Fortunato himself displays much irony as well. First, his name resembles the word “fortune” and to have good fortune can mean to have good luck, which is obviously not what Fortunate has, having been left for eternity to perish alone in darkness. Fortunato’s clothes are another source of irony. He wears the clothes of a jester, “He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells.” (70) Since jesters are often portrayed as trusting and very foolish, this completely describes Fortunato as he willing and unknowingly walks with his murderer to his doom. Another source of irony is found in almost everything that Montresor says. Every time he speaks to Fortunato, he speaks to him as if he is his friend. He speaks to him with a sarcasm that is not noticeable. However, since we are inside his head, we know that Montresor is not actually friends with Fortunato and this ploy is all actually part of his plot to kill Fortunato. In the beginning, Montresor says to himself that “I must not only punish but punish with impunity.” (70) This is ironic when we later find out that Montresor’s family motto is “No one provokes me with impunity.” From the motto and the description of the coat of arms we receive, it can be assumed that Montresor’s family has had a history of insanity and