The Cask of Amontillado - List of Essay Samples And Topic Ideas
The Cask of Amontillado is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe that explores themes of revenge, betrayal, and psychological torment. Essays on this story might delve into the dark thematic elements, the narrative techniques employed by Poe, or the psychological complexity of the characters. Analyzing the symbolism, the setting of the story, or the relationship between the protagonist and antagonist can provide deep insights into human motivations and the darker aspects of human interactions. This story serves as a rich text for exploring the Gothic literary tradition and the human psyche. A vast selection of complimentary essay illustrations pertaining to The Cask of Amontillado you can find in Papersowl database. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.
“The Cask of Amontillado” Analysis
“The Cask Of Amontillado” Analysis The short story “The Cask Of Amontillado” written by author Edgar Allen Poe, unfolds agrisly act of revenge performed by Montresor against his noble Fortunato because he insults him. This vengeance leads to the Montresor murdering his noble Fortunato, the story depicts a picture of punishment and terror. Montresor uses revenge against one of his best friends but underneath the horror can be simplified to him actually being a character whom is rather prideful and […]
The Cask of Amontillado Literary Analysis
Edgar Allan Poe was born January 19, 1809, in Boston Massachusetts. Before the age of three both of his parents died, and when he turned eighteen, he joined the army. Poe married in 1836, and suffered his wife's death, causing his lifelong struggle of alcoholism and depression to worsen. His gothic style of writing portrayed all the hurt that he endured in his time. You can see this because of how well he can use a human's most raw and […]
"Edgar Allan Poe uses unreliable narrators throughout many of his writings. Whether he uses this unreliability through willful deception, mental instability, or drugs, the protagonist can not be dependable to accurately tell the events of the story. The author has the narrator purposefully lacks this credibility, because it can make the story more compelling to the reader, hooking them in. This narrative technique, is also used to oblige the reader to make a choice of either rejecting or accepting the […]
The Short Story “The Cask of Amontillado”
The short story “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe contains various different forms of symbolism. Writers tend to use symbolism to describe an object or something with more clarity, it provides additional meaning to the text. Edgar Allan Poe’s intense use of symbolism throughout “The Cask of Amontillado” establishes a brilliant use of these elements to create this suspenseful short story. The title of this short story seems to have some sort of additional meaning to it. To […]
“A Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind”
“A eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” by Mahatma Gandhi. This quote relates to the theme since it shows how revenge can compound issues worldwide, and revenge could continue conflicts until everyone is involved. Is it worth a lifetime of pain and misery just to get back at a person or is it better to live your life to your fullest potential? In the Aesop “The bald Man and The Fly” and in the short story “Cask […]
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“The Cask of Amontillado” Story by Edgar Allan Poe
In the story “The Cask of Amontillado” the Author Edgar Allen Poe uses “Montresor” who was once a nobleman, to represent the “monster” of the story as he acts of violence and revenge against his enemy “Fortunato” for the insults and suffering Fortunato has caused upon Montresor. “The Cask of Amontillado” is a mystery story, with an underlying question as for why did he do it? “The Cask of Amontillado” main goal was Montresor’s urge to get back Fortunato for […]
Revenge and Foreshadowing in the Cask of Amontillado
"Edgar Allan Poe is a famous writer known for his thrilling short stories. One of his shorts, “The Cask of Amontillado” is most known for its intense and prevalent themes, including irony and foreshadowing. Foreshadowing in an element in the story is used to hint an event that will occur further along in the story. There are many types of Irony. One of these is dramatic irony, which refers to when a character thinks something is true, yet the audience […]
Insanity in Edgar Allan Poe’s Stories
In both of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado, Poe demonstrates elements of insanity which can cause one to believe that both narrators can be viewed as unreliable. This unreliable trait is common within gothic tropes. A narrator is considered unreliable when the narrator's words do not hold much value to it. The narrator can either be deliberately lying or they can just be delusional and actually believe what they are trying to […]
The Cask of Amontillado: Montresor
In “The Cask of Amontillado” the narrator “Montresor” tells his version of a story about revenge on a man named Fortunato who he believed has wronged him. Edgar Allan Poe is an author who is very well known for his short stories, and his use of unreliable narrators. Poe uses many literary techniques throughout the “The Cask of Amontillado “which makes the reader question the events that Montresor explained throughout the story. In “The Cask of Amontillado” Edgar Allan Poe’s […]
How does the Cask of Amontillado Relate to Poe’s Life
In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Edgar Allan Poe, the author, focuses on two characters that tie the reader's attention to their revenge story. Taking place over the course of one night, Montresor chooses to get revenge on his bitter adversary who has insulted with him for far too long. Fortunato represents all that Montresor and his family have lost, and Montresor believes that he can regain his former life by destroying Fortunato. Poe incorporates subtle irony, resonant symbolism, crisp dialogue, […]
Comparing and Contrasting Darkness in Poe’s ‘Cask of Amontillado’ and ‘Raven’
Edgar Allen Poe one of the greatest American poets to ever have been around. The stories “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Raven” are typically seen as dark and mystical pieces of literature. Both stories consist of a few major similarities such as the tone and the way the stories ended. With the few similar qualities they both have a few ways that they are different like the rhyme scheme and the difference in diction. In “the Cask of Amontillado” […]
Murder in in “The Cask of Amontillado”
In “The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar Allan Poe, the setting is used extensively to draw suspense and create a particular feeling for the reader. The author uses the setting to convey plans and images. He uses the darkness of the night, walking through the catacombs, and the scent of niter, to paint the gloomy picture. The setting establishes a mood that foreshadows future events, giving a distinct movement from freedom to confinement. The setting in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The […]
Irony in “The Cask of Amontillado”
“The Cask of Amontillado” written by Edgar Allan Poe, is a work of literature that sets a dark magnetic attraction for all types of readers. Poe organizes this piece as a thriller through various techniques of suspense and curiosity. Set in the 19th century, disrespect towards a man’s family name is an action accepted by no one (Poe). A man named “Montresor” seeks revenge through precise planning and deviant actions to gain ease, ease from discomfort “Fortunato” brought against him […]
Themes of Freedom and Confinement in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
Humans have always struggled against freedom. However, they choose not to identify that history has proved again that too much freedom encourage anarchy. Freedom is the right to act, speak or think without hindrance. This theme of freedom is displayed in Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado. For one person to be free, another must die. Fortunato and Montresor are symbols of how human nature display differently in different people in varying combinations of psychological and physical freedom. “It was about dusk, […]
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”
Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” is controversial in the sense that it can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on the reader’s point-of-view. The well known short story is about a man named Montresor who desires to enact revenge on a one-sided enemy, Fortunato. Montresor deceives Fortunato, luring him to his demise by using a tasteful wine called Amontillado. Charles Nevi (1967) has written that Poe “intends for his stories to have hidden messages” and how “many readers disregard […]
Death is Life’s most Powerful Motivator
Embracing your own mortality can change your mindset, enrich your life, and make every second you spend on Earth worth it. There are many ways death can influence someone’s life. In “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, both protagonists thought of death as a great escape from reality. In Chopin’s story, the protagonist realizes her husband died from a train accident. With finding out about his death led for […]
Edgar Allan Poe’s the Cask of Amontillado Essay
"Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado expresses enigmatic themes of desire and human complexity. The protagonist desires revenge on an acquaintance through premeditated murder. Although conversely, that is only on the surface. Montresor's needs and desires are that of something beyond vengeance. It is known that our narrator and protagonist Montresor, seeks vengeance against Fortunato for the insults and ""the thousand injuries"" he felt had been done to him. Although, Montresor never clarifies how Fortunato degrades him nor backs […]
The Enigmatic Narration and Deceptive Layers of ‘The Cask of Amontillado’
“The Cask of Amontillado”, a short fiction story by Edgar Allan Poe, this particular story has a distinctive way of narrating without stating the obvious. Throughout the story readers are left to figure out what the author’s brilliant strategies in narrating the story and how the readers look at the characters are presented in the story. The Cask of Amontillado is a simple story of vengeance from the outside. However, the story takes an ironic way of expressing what’s the […]
Imagery in the Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
In the story “The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe, the theme of revenge forms a great deal of the story. Montresor is the main character and narrator of the story. The story starts with the narration of his insult by Fortunato, his friend. “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge “(Poe). However, we are not told of the actual offense which made Montresor plot […]
The Cask of Amontillado Overview
"Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. Poe is known to make dark and mysterious poems like “The Tale-Tale Heart” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” of which received criticism from the public. Poe’s creations became a staple in Southern fictions and gave people an insight into why people are afraid of death, the supernatural and, evil. Poe’s work has become a contributor to the horror genre. Edgar Allan Poe uses the fiction elements of […]
Edgar Allan Poe the Mastermind
Poe shows few bits of irony in The Cask of Amontillado. Starting with the setting it’s set at a carnival that is already ironic. The carnival is a place of happiness and excitement, but what occurs in the story is anything but happy and exciting (462). Another thing that is very ironic is Fortunato’s name means fortunate and well after all he was not fortunate at all. Fortunato’s was wearing a jester outfit in the story, but he is not […]
Edgar Allan Poe – the Cask of Amontillado
Have you ever wondered why Edgar Allan Poe is considered to be the master of horror/ creator of detective fiction or even why his short stories became some of the most iconic literature of the entire 18th century that changed the literary landscape forever? If so then you might realize that many of his suspenseful works are actually linked upon his tragic life as a writer. In the article “The Color of Amontillado,” Charlene Walters states “ This conflict was […]
Literary Devices in the Cask of Amontillado
The Cask of Amontillado is about a man who at one time was offended by his companion Fortunato. Subsequent to running into a tipsy Fortunato and remarking that he had an uncommon and flavorful wine, Amontillado, the storyteller tricked the intoxicated man into his family vaults. When the liquor incited companion had been attracted to the most remote end of the mausoleums, he was shackled in and the divider to the family tomb was masoned in by the storyteller. Obviously […]
What do the Bells Symbolize in the Cask of Amontillado
The Cask of Amontillado is the history of the most atrocious revenge, one of the cruelest stories of Edgar Allan Poe. In the story, Montresor plans to take revenge on his friend Fortunato for an insult that Poe does not talk deeply. One afternoon, during a Carnival fest Montresor takes advantage of Fortunado's drunkenness to walk him deeper into catacombs (the Amontillado) to chain him to the wall. That day Fortunato was dressed like a jester with a hat of […]
Gothic Essay – the Cask of Amontillado
In the Cast of Amontillado, there are several aspects of Gothic which are similar to the American Gothic Fiction. The scenery contains a draft setting familiar to the Gothic literature. The house where it takes place in catacombs is where Montresor has been in the family for long. This setting also consists of bodies of his dead relatives adding to sorrow in the story. The narrative is characterized by a constant feeling of furtive with a hidden meaning behind the […]
The Art of Subtlety
American author, Edgar Allan Poe was a prominent figure in nineteenth-century literature. Famously known for his versatile tales of macabre horror, Poe compels readers to consider the mental status or sanity of the characters portrayed in some of his short stories. Audiences find themselves asking if certain characters are acting on impulse in which they perhaps later regret or if the characters lack a conscience and remain truly unrepentant. Similarities between two of Poe’s short stories, “The Cask of Amontillado” […]
‘The Cask of Amontillado’ and ‘The Tell-tale Heart’ by Edgar Allan Poe
Punishment is not for revenge, but to lessen crime and reform the criminal. By these words, Elizabeth Fly means the fact of imposing punishment is a significant manifestation of his punitive influence. Appointment of punishment in some cases the pain has a significant effect on the convicted than its execution, for example, a fine. It is the appointment of a punishment that gives the convict certain moral suffering, shame and shame that is an integral part of the practice of […]
The Cask of Amontillado Analysis Essay
"The short story ‘The Cask of Amontillado' was inscribed by Edgar Allan Poe, the story is about a gentleman named Montresor who decides to take vengeance on another man named Fortunato. He accuses Fortunato of always insulting him and plans his revenge mission well. He meets Fortunato at the carnival and decoys him into the mausoleums at his household and entombs him alive by building a wall to cover him so that he can die slowly. “The story is told […]
The Character of Montresor in the Cask of Amontillado
The Cask of Amontillado (1846) is a short story written from the narrator’s (Montresor) viewpoint who demonstrates several factors about his situation with Fortunato: he has borne quietly for too long with the many insults of Fortunato and has reached a point wherein he could no longer tolerate so many offenses, hence the desire for revenge, to secretly plot retribution. Montresor reveals certain aspects of his personality: unreliability as narrator; the absence of sympathy; and confessing and bragging. Whether or […]
Emotional Writing in “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”
Romanticism can be defined as “a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century, characterized chiefly by a reaction against neoclassicism and an emphasis on the imagination and emotions” (merriam-webster dictionary). It is said to be a response to the Industrial Revolution as well as the preceding age of enlightenment, when emphasis on science and reason was common in literature and art (“Romanticism and the Industrial Revolution”). Consequently, later works, such as that of Edgar Allan Poe, responded […]
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The Cask of Amontillado Critical Essay
Edgar Allan Poe is perceived as one of the greatest authors and poets of all time. His works have elicited the need for analysis by various scholars and parties from the field of literature. His short story, “The Cask of Amontillado”, portrays various stylistic approaches, thus necessitating an analysis to evaluate the writing style.
“The Cask of Amontillado” is a story involving horror due to Montresor’s vengeful motive upon Fortunato. Poe’s work on this piece of literature has been considered as one of the world’s perfect short stories. The narrative meets the qualities of a classic short story as theorized by Poe since it can be read in a single sitting. This paper will analyze the stylistic devices that Poe applies in the short story, “The Cask of Amontillado”.
The story’s narrator, Montresor, opens up his revengeful motive towards Fortunato, his acquaintance, by claiming that he insulted him irreparably (Poe 1200). Montresor seeks to use Fortunato’s liking for wine in a bid to carry out his revenge in a way that curtails the risks of being identified. Montresor brings the idea of using Luchesi to taste Amontillado, but Fortunato suggests that he is not good enough for the task and regards him as a competitor as well.
The two proceed towards Montresor’s burial vaults, which are exposed and filled with nitre. The nitre causes Fortunato to cough, and thus takes the wine to counter the effects even after being told by Montresor to go home. The two continue exploring the vaults that contain body remains of Montresor’s family members.
Fortunato tries to see if Montresor is a true mason by making a hand movement, but the latter does not recognize and he justifies himself by showing him a trowel implying a stonemason (Poe 1202). Montresor tells an intoxicated Fortunato to access a small recess through a wall made of bones to get the Amontillado before trapping him. Fortunato starts squalling as the walls go up.
The alcohol levels in his system drop as he starts moaning helplessly and later laughs at Montresor, who is not in the mood for jokes, as he continues piling the layers of the wall. Fortunato stops conversing with Montresor after making the final plea, “For the love of God, Montresor” (Poe 1204), but the latter continues to call his name twice.
Montresor positions the final brick and plasters the walls before reassembling the bones on the fourth wall. Montresor says that the bones have not been disturbed for fifty years, and he makes a conclusion in Latin that translates to “May he rest in peace” (Poe 1205).
Poe’s short story depicts a simple plot that portrays various aspects of his style in a compact way. Therefore, the analysis will explore the title, the use of irony, and other aspects writing and stylistic devices that Poe applies.
The title, “The Cask of Amontillado”, sounds mysterious and it tends to elicit fright. “Amontillado” simply refers to an alcoholic beverage that is linked to sherry. The title seems to conceal the story’s subject since moat people are not familiar with the various types of liquor unless one is a wine connoisseur.
On the other hand, “Casks” are used for the storage of alcoholic beverages. Montresor communicates that Fortunato possesses a “pipe of what passes for Amontillado” (Poe 1201). In this light, the “pipe” implies the “cask”, which could mean a “casket”. Poe uses the title to conceal and reveal the horrific nature of the story artistically as depicted by Fortunato’s ambitions of finding the Cask of Amontillado only to discover his death casket.
Additionally, Amontillado has different meanings to Montresor and Fortunato. To Fortunato, Amontillado represents pleasance and delectation, while Montresor uses it for the pursuit of his vengeful mission.
The use of irony
Poe uses three types of irony in the story as a literary tool that facilitates the readers’ understanding of the friendship that exists between Montresor and Fortunato. He uses situational, dramatic, and verbal irony throughout the story to make it intriguing to the audience.
In verbal irony, the speaker uses parables to imply the opposite meaning of what is being said. For instance, the name “Fortunato” implies good fortune, but it seems to be the contrary in this story. Fortunato turns out to be unfortunate as he is eventually trapped and killed by the revengeful Montresor.
Verbal irony is also depicted as Montresor leads Fortunato to the vaults. Montresor pretends to be caring about Fortunato’s health by noting, “We will go back; your health is precious…You are a man to be missed. For me, it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible” (Poe 1203).
Montresor’s intentions are the opposite since he intends to destroy Fortunato’s health by killing him. Fortunato proceeds deeper towards the vault as his coughs persist, but Montresor tells him that they will go back before it gets late and that his cough is nothing to worry about at the time. Going deep into the vaults means that Fortunato would meet his dark fate, which is signified by Amontillado.
Fortunato’s source of pleasure turns out to be his painful ending as Montresor revenges on him. Poe also uses dramatic irony in the story whereby he reveals some things to the audience, which are unknown to the characters. Fortunato’s dress code appears ironical as it depicts his eagerness to taste the rare alcoholic beverage. He posits, “The man wore motley.
He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells” (Poe 1202). In this regard, Fortunato’s dressing mode symbolizes a fool that can be easily tricked into his death. Fortunato also says, “I will not die of a cough” (Poe 1202). Montresor affirming, “The cold is merely nothing” (Poe 1202). The readers know what is looming for Fortunato, but he is not aware of what may happen to him according to his enemy’s plans.
Fortunato toasts bodies that had been buried in the catacombs without realizing his impending death (Poe 1203). In situational irony, the opposite of the anticipated outcomes occurs. Poe utilizes this type of irony during the night of the carnival. He posits, “I had told them that I should not return until the morning and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house.
These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one, and all, as soon as my back was turned” (Poe 1203). This assertion implies that the Montresor wants his servants not to leave without him, which ensures that they would do the contrary. Another instance of situational irony is whereby the non-existent cask containing the Amontillado turns out to be the connoisseur’s casket.
Fortunato ultimately discovers his coffin instead of the rare wine that he anticipates. Montresor commits a premeditated murder of Fortunato, which is not punished legally after fifty years (Poe 1205). Therefore, it is ironical that Fortunato has been resting in peace as Montresor lives freely with impunity.
A good story should entail aspects of an initial condition, the conflict, complication, climax, suspense, and the conclusion. Poe initiates the story by depicting the painful history between Montresor and Fortunato. Montresor claims, “Fortunato had hurt me in other ways a thousand times, and I had suffered in quiet” (Poe 1200) implying that there were personal differences that existed between them.
Fortunato also insults Montresor, thus causing him to vow for revenge. This section provides a good basis for the story’s initial situation. The conflict aspect of the story is comes out when Montresor posits, “I must punish him with impunity” (Poe 1201). This statement translates into his vengeful strategies that depict the conflict in the story.
The story is not complicated and it might only confuse the reader on the aspects of Amontillado and Luchesi. The climax of the story stands out when Fortunato is chained in the catacomb as Montresor starts erecting the walls that would act as Fortunato’s casket.
The suspense is created where Montresor positions and plasters the bricks for the tomb. The denouement of the story happens when Montresor places the final brick thereby ending the suspense that calls for the conclusion by writing, “In pace requiescat!” (Poe 1205).
Montresor describes various events elegantly, which intrigues the reader. For instance, Montresor describes the bones and human remains in a tone that does not evoke fear. He says, “We passed through a range of low arches, descended, passed on, and descending again, arrived at a deep crypt, in which the foulness of the air caused our flambeaux [torches – pronounced “flam-bow”] rather glow than flame” (Poe 1204).
The story adopts a horrific and gothic setting. The setting of the story proceeds from freedom to confinement as Montresor kills Fortunato by confining him in a casket. The carnival aims at creating happiness and celebrating freedom, but it turns out to be the opposite for Fortunato.
The dusk hours imply that something horrific is imminent as manifested by Montresor’s trap. The season is considered as a period of “supreme madness” (Poe 1203), and thus it evokes a feeling of uncertainty. However, the actual setting of the story is not specified, but events are perceived to take place in the European setting since the names of the characters like Fortunato and Luchesi have a European origin. Amontillado is a wine of Spanish origin whereas Montresor’s coat of arms originates from Scotland.
“The Cask of Amontillado” is a perfect short story that depicts Poe’s stylistic features of his works. The title creates a concealed horrific topic that requires the readers’ interpretation of the “Cask” and “Amontillado”. Poe uses symbolism, irony, suspense, and horror to give the story a creative element as the setting flows from freedom to confinement.
The plot used is simple as it initiates the issue between Montresor and Fortunato before proceeding to build up the conflict that climaxes at Montresor’s catacombs. Therefore, Poe depicts his exceptional writing skills in authoring the short story, thus making him one of the greatest writers and poets of all the time.
Poe, Edgar. “The Cask of Amontillado.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature . Eds. Nina Baym et al. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2012. 1200-1205. Print.
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The Cask of Amontillado
Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The Cask of Amontillado Introduction Should individuals avenge any wrong committed against them? Does “perfect revenge” really exist? Is it possible to plan and execute the perfect revenge against an aggressor? Are there any consequences of taking revenge against others? These are some of the major questions from “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe. The story is considered one of Edgar Allan Poe’s best short stories and it ranks highly among great literary works. Clearly, revenge does not give one a peace of mind whenever they suffer transgressions. In fact, the notion of perfect revenge is just a misplaced idea that can only expose one to serious social discrimination, legal charges and psychological trauma in worst cases. Although the “The Cask of Amontillado” is a relatively short story, the author manages to convey a deep message of revenge to his audience. Fortunato arouses Montresor’s vengeance after he repeatedly insults the Montresor’s family name and demonstrating an ignorance about the family’s values. For instance, Fortunato toasts to Montresor’s dead ancestors. Fortunato also points out that he does not remember the appearance of the Montresor family’s court of arms. Such insults literarily seal Fortunato’s fate as Montresor plans to avenge the insults. Montresor vows, “not only to punish but to punish with impunity” (Poe and Gary, 7). Montresor understands that Fortunato’s greatest weakness is wine, and he lies to Fortunato that he has some Amontillado that he could offer to him. Montresor also knows that his servants would leave the castle whenever they knew he would be away. By telling his servants that he would not be around, Montresor strategically plans to have the castle all to himself to ensure that nobody would witness his crime. Montresor has no difficulty in luring Fortunato to the depths of the castle where he intends to kill Fortunato. Everything goes according to Montresor’s plan, and Fortunato becomes a willing victim as he resolutely asks Montresor to take him where the Amontillado was stored. However, Montresor implores Fortunato to turn back and leave catacomb due to the damp conditions in the catacomb. This demonstrates Montresor’s hesitation of killing Fortunato, and this makes the revenge imperfect. Although Montresor succeeds in killing Fortunato and sealing all the evidence, he seems to regret his actions. The Theme of Revenge in “The Cask of Amontillado” Although revenge is not necessary for all transgressions, it is normal for any individual wronged by another to contemplate avenging the misdeed. Many individuals have attempted and lusted after the perfect revenge for insults and offenses against them. The perfect revenge is an almost impossible feat to achieve and requires a lot of planning and emotional commitment to the action. The major characteristics of the perfect revenge include punishing the offender successfully without arousing any suspicion and performing the deed devoid of any feeling of regret. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor almost succeeds in executing a perfect revenge against Fortunato but is betrayed by his guilty conscience after killing his foe. Montresor understands the characters of his servants, and he wittingly sends them away from the castle by lying that he would be away for the night. He knows that the servants would surely join the carnival as soon as he left the castle. Montresor also knows that Fortunato is addicted to wine and that he can easily find him in one of the nearby pubs. Montresor points out that Fortunato, “prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine” (Poe and Gary, 8). Montresor has little difficulty in finding Fortunato whom he meets coming from a drinking spree. Montresor easily convinces Fortunato to visit the Montresor family castle so that Fortunato may confirm to Montresor that the wine Montresor doubted was indeed Amontillado. Fortunato’s weakness for wine eventually leads to his demise as Montresor lures him into the depths of the castle’s catacomb. Fortunato’s pride proves to be his undoing as he tries to prove that he is a better connoisseur of wine than Luchesi. Fortunato’s pride also causes him to insult Montresor’s profession of masonry unknowingly. While Montresor succeeds in luring Fortunato to his death without raising any suspicion from his servants, he fails in achieving one of the prerequisite conditions for the perfect revenge. Montresor seems guilty for his actions, and his mind is not at peace while executing his revenge. There are numerous indicates throughout the short story suggesting that Montresor had second thoughts about the crime he had planned and had committed. Although Montresor’s intention of killing Fortunato was to redeem the family’s honor, Montresor manages to develop a guilty conscience that haunts him forever and denies him the sweetness of avenging Fortunato’s insults. Montresor seems to be confessing his crime more than fifty years after murdering Fortunato. The tone of his conversation betrays his feelings about the crime. Montresor appears to be confessing out of regret rather than revel. It is probable that he does not experience the same level of hatred that he had for the man who repeatedly insulted the “great Montresor’s family” name. It is also possible that as Montresor is on the verge of his death as he confesses his crimes. Montresor has apparently lived throughout his life with the guilt of killing Fortunato, and he needs to relieve the guilty conscience. As he is being sealed in the crypt, Fortunato exclaims, “For the Love of God.” (Poe and Gary, 20). The comment is more than the last plea for mercy; it is a warning to Montresor to consider the consequences of his actions. Montresor’s lust for revenge blinded him so much that he fails to consider how his actions would affect his life and soul. Fortunato’s last words may have haunted Montresor for many years. The guilt eventually forces Montresor to confess his crimes, and this makes his revenge imperfect. As Montresor lures Fortunato to the depths of the catacomb, there are several indications that Montresor will not have the peace of mind that he anticipated. Montresor gives Fortunato several opportunities to turn back and escape the fate that awaited him in the catacomb. Montresor feigns concern for Fortunato’s health due to the damp conditions in the catacomb, and he offers Fortunato a drink to help him persevere the conditions. Had Montresor been fully focused on killing Fortunato, he would not have allowed any thought of allowing Fortunato to go back to the carnival to cross his mind. Once Montresor had started his mission, he had no other option but to complete it. Montresor could not undo all that he had done, and he could not convince Fortunato to stop his persistent insults on Montresor and his family. Releasing Fortunato would only subject Montresor to more insults, and this would only increase Montresor’s anger. In addition, threatening to kill Fortunato could result in Montresor’s imprisonment. Consequently, the only way Montresor could avoid complicating the situation further was by killing Fortunato and concealing all the evidence. There are doubts that Montresor had achieved his objective of a perfect revenge against Fortunato by avenging his tarnished honor without any guilty conscience. As Montresor places the last stone that will seal Fortunato in the crypt forever, he calls Fortunato but does not receive any reply. Montresor points out that his, “heart grew sick” and “it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so” (Poe and Gary, 21). However, Montresor’s claim that the damp conditions in the catacombs had made him sick is irrelevant because he could not have suddenly become sick due to the cold. Furthermore, Montresor had not been affected by the dampness of the catacombs as much as Fortunato had. It is a lie that Montresor’s heart suddenly grew sick only after burying Fortunato. Montresor’s “heart grew sick” due to the guilt that he felt after burying Fortunato knowing that he could not reverse the situation. Montresor acknowledges that he hastened to lay the last stone, and this is characteristic of an individual who has committed a crime and feels guilty about the misdeed. Although Montresor seems committed throughout the story to punishing Fortunato for insulting his family, he labors to lay the last stone that would completely seal Fortunato to his grave. One would expect Montresor to lay the last stone with relish after succeeding in his plan for a perfect murder. However, Montresor does not enjoy his moment of success. It is probable that he finally realizes that he cannot do anything to reverse the situation that his vengeance had led him to. Montresor ends up with a feeling that he had not anticipated while planning his scheme to eliminate Fortunato. Montresor states that, “For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them (Poe and Gary, 21).” This suggests that Montresor had become compassionate to his long dead foe despite being responsible for the death. Montresor’s compassion for Fortunato defies the logic of avenging an insult by killing another individual. Although Fortunato might have been guilty of insulting Montresor and his family repeatedly, insults do not justify the murder of an individual. Consequently, Montresor might have overreacted by planning and executing the scheme to eliminate Fortunato for insulting him. This demonstrates that individuals should not avenge wrongs committed against them because they risk overreacting to trivial transgressions. Montresor’s reactions during and after the murder show that it is impossible to execute a perfect revenge against an adversary by committing another crime. Although one may succeed in hiding all the evidence, the emotional attachment to the crime may haunt the avenger for the rest of his life. The guilty conscience that arises from committing a crime should discourage anyone from planning for revenge against others, particularly if the revenge involves killing another individual. Conclusion From the actions of Montresor in “The Cask of Amontillado,” one learns several lessons about revenge. People should avoid avenging for wrongs committed against them because revenge may lead them to commit crimes that would haunt them throughout their lives. The notion of a perfect revenge does not exist because one is forced to live with the guilt of harming another person. It is impossible for a person to plan and execute a perfect revenge due to the guilty conscience that arises from killing another person. Revenge may force an individual to live with the guilt throughout his life. Although Montresor tries to justify his actions fifty years after killing Fortunato, his apparent guilt demonstrates that achieving the perfect revenge is impossible. Even if the evidence remains hidden, an individual still has to deal with the memories of their actions.
Works Cited Poe, Edgar A, and Gary Kelley. The Cask of Amontillado. Mankato, Minn: Creative Education, 2008. Print.
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe essay
The Cask of Amontillado is a well known Edgar Allan Poe’s story, first published in 1846. The story unfolds in an unnamed Italian city, in unmarked time. The story is told from the first person, narrator tells the story of his deadly revenge to his friend, who has allegedly humiliated him. Revenge lies in immurement into the wall.
In the story Montresor, a representative of an impoverished noble family, tells about the night when he makes a retaliation, revenge to his friend, a prosperous nobleman Fortunato for the many insults and humiliation, however, without revealing the details of the latter. Montresor has planned everything accurately.
Revenge is appointed to the height of the carnival. Montresor tells Fortunato that he has bought a barrel of amontillado. Fortunato, being a well-known connoisseur of wines, doubts that Montresor could buy such a rare and expensive wine, especially during the carnival. Fortunato decides to check authenticity of wine and goes to the basement of his enemy, accompanied by his future executioner.
Ii is cold and damp in the basement, and Fortunato suffers from cough. Montresor offers him a sip of warming Medoc from time to time and Fortunato gets drunker and drunker. On the way Fortunato asks about the emblem of Montresor, its motto says: Nemo me impune lacessit (“No one insults me with impunity”).
Finally they come to the niche in which Montresor handcuffs Fortunato to the wall. The victim still does not understand what is happening. Then begins Montresor starts to spread a stone wall leaving Fortunato in the niche. Fortunato is shouting, swearing, begging, but Montresor lays the last stone and leaves the dungeon. That is how the main conflict is resolved.
Analyzing the story, you realize that despite the fact that murder is a central theme of the story, it can not be attributed to the detective genre, like “Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “Stolen Letter”. “The Cask of Amontillado” does not describe the investigation of crime, the murderer himself is a narrator of the story. Riddle of the story is that the motive of the murder remains unknown to the reader. Thus, all of the “detective” part is left to him, the reader is free to create background of the murder. The main universal themes that are in the story include personal relationships and revenge.
Although Montresor does not disclose the reasons of his act, he mentions “thousands of humiliation,” from which he suffered from Fortunato. Many commentators conclude that Montresor may be crazy, but this version raises questions as in his actions Montresor is very cunning and calculating.
The story uses typical Poe’s themes and symbols: confessions of a killer, immurement of body, burial alive, masquerade, carnival, buffoonery, terrible and fatal under the guise of humor. Resentment is not avenged, if avenging overtakes retribution. It is also not avenged, if the abuser does not know whose hand gives him the punishment. Fortunato was a renowned connoisseur of wine, so he did not suspect a trick at the invitation of his friend to try Amontillado, a keg of which he had bought on the eve…
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