Literary Elements in Poe’s WritingIn the writings of great authors it is easy to pick out the literary elements used by them. Edgar Allan Poe is one of these authors. He makes use of the same literary elements in many of his stories. Three of the most used literary elements are irony, antagonists and foreshadowing.Irony is used very often by Poe.
Irony is when something occurs that is the exact opposite of how it should be or seem. Irony varies in that it may be displayed through someone’s actions or an ironic happening. An example of irony in someone’s action are in the Cask of Amontillado is when Montressor repeatedly seems concerned for Fortunato’s health, even though his real intentions are to kill him.
It also may be considered ironic that Poe named the enemy of Monstressor, Fortunato. Being that Fortunato means fortunate or lucky in Italian, it is ironic that he is very unlucky in that he his buried alive in a wall. The Antagonist is also a literary element used by Poe is this story.
We see how Forunato so ignorantly and thoughtlessly antagonized the questionably insane Montressor. The consequence for this antagonist was death by dehydration and starvation. One of the most common literary elements used by Poe throughout many of his works is foreshadowing. Poe loved foreshadowing what is to come as much as he can. We see him often use little things to foreshadow. Such as, the infamous raven, or the dichromatic beating of the heart within a dead man buried in the floor. In the Cask of Amontillado, we see foreshadowing in the speech of Monstressor and Fortunato. When Fortunato states, “I shall not die of a mere cough”, Monstressor enthusiastically agrees with him.
If you read into this meaning behind this it is direct foreshadowing that he will not die of a mere cough, but starvation and dehydration caused by Monstressor burying him in a wall will be what kills him. Irony, antagonists and foreshadowing are three literary elements often seen in Poe’s works. They greatly attribute to his unique writing style and make his works as great as they are.