The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe Essay

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe Essay

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The short story “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe represents two key themes: pride and revenge. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” This story shows that Montresor, the narrator, rejects this thought and believes that revenge, even if deadly is the best way to get back at Fortunato. In “The Cask of Amontillado” Poe uses the pride and honor of Fortunato to find a way to achieve the revenge that Montresor desperately craves. Montresor believes in his mind that revenge is completely moral according to his personal ideas of pride, but he still understands that his actions of revenge would be wrong to the public’s view and in the end Montresor realizes that revenge is only a temporary enjoyment followed by years of remorse and guilt.
In summary Edgar Alan Poe uses “The Cask of Amontillado” as a story to show pride as both a motivator and as a way to achieve revenge. The story starts by telling us that Fortunato has hurt and insulted Montresor so he feels he must get revenge. He then meets Fortunato, who is dressed in jesters’ clothes for a carnival celebration. This makes Montresor more eager to invoke revenge. Montresor feels that the carnival is giving Fortunato too much enjoyment from life and needs to make Fortunato feel like he is not as important as himself which shows that both men are struggling for dominance and personal pride. Montresor then mentions that he has a barrel of “Amontillado” which is in his catacomb underneath the house. Fortunato is a wine enthusiast and wants to go and taste it because he believes he has the best knowledge of wine which shows his pri...


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...the individual to have guilt and remorsefulness. Montresor feels that his actions were justified at the beginning of the story and now that he successfully completed his plan of revenge, he has gained nothing from his actions and has lived fifty years with the feeling of guilt and remorse. This story can be applied to real life situations and the philosophy of revenge because when someone is hurting and feels they need to get revenge it feels good during the planning stages and the initial actions but when they finally finish they are left with the feeling of regret and guilt.



Works Cited
King, Martin L., Jr. "Revenge Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/revenge.html
Poe, Edgar A. "The Cask of Amontillado." Introduction to Literature. Boston: Pearson Custom Library, 2012. 206-12. Print.

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