A Cask Of Amontillado By Edgar Allen Poe Essay

A Cask Of Amontillado By Edgar Allen Poe Essay

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In Edgar Allen Poe’s, “A Cask of Amontillado” it is filled with symbolism, irony and the suggestion of good versus evil. The narrator of the story, Montresor, hides behind a mask, who is of a different world than others. Some might say that he is slick, diabolical, calculative man who is out for revenge with impunity. Being a descendant from a very powerful aristocratic family, Montresor could not possibly let Fortunato insult him with impunity. As his family motto states, “Nemo me impune lacessit,” which means, no one attacks me with impunity. He never states what Fortunato did to deserve the ultimate punishment. He only states, “ the thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge” (Poe 543). Montresor’s plan for revenge is very devious, crafty, and manipulative. He plans on encasing Fortunato into the walls of the catacombs for his wrong doings against Montresor. The perfect time for the crime to take place is during the carnival season, a time of indulgences. In this case, Fortunato’s indulgence is wine; therefore, Montresor knows that he will be inebriated enough to control him with ease. Far from being an amateur murderer, Montresor elaborates a sophisticated philosophy of revenge: "I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong" (Poe 543-44).

Poe’s uses characters’ names as a means of symbolism; the names Montresor and Fortunato imply the opposite ends of Montresor’s personality. The name Fortunato speaks for itself – which means “Fortunate.” Ironically, he is actually the lessor of the f...


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...stic, kind heart person that drowns in his indulgences in appeasements of wine. Without clarity and alcohol in his system, he would have been able to spoil Montresor’s plan. However, because Montresor is so smart, Fortunato falls at his feet. The snake digs into the heel of his victim, even if it was a mistake. In his eyes, it was prey and a threat. Baraban interestingly points out that, “Poe’s intriguing silence about the nature of the insult that made Montresor murder Fortunato has given rise to explanations of Montresor’s deed through insanity.” It never states in the story why Montresor wanted to murder Fortunato, but at the end of the story, he finally admits to the murder after fifty years. “For the half of century no mortal has disturbed them” (Poe 547). Montresor does not feel remorse or guilt for his wrong doing because he will not be insulted with impunity.

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