To begin, the symbolism in Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” occurs in many forms. Fortunato is a significant symbol in the beginning of the story. "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 par. 4). He has dressed for the local carnival as a jester, or a fool, while his drunken behavior and ignorance of Montresor only support this imagery. Montresor himself dawns a black cloak and a mask of black silk, which veils his identity. These garments symbolize an executioner, which Montresor shall become later in the story. The Cask of Amontillado is also two symbols, as the word cask shares the same root as casket, and the Amontillado itself represents the two causes of Fortunato’s demise. The first of which is his drunkenness, which causes him to venture further into the catacombs under the understanding that his efforts will result in free Amontillado. The second cause is Fortunato’s passion for wine left him susceptible to flattery, which Montresor shower...
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...d use to wall up Fortunato. However this would be rather disrespectful to one’s family, especially to one such as Montresor, who holds his family motto to heart. One speculation is that perhaps the bones are not the remains of his loved ones, but rather those of other victims, perhaps waster away by the hands of Montresor himself or even his family, and can be justified by how seriously Montresor takes his family motto. This shows just how important of a role the catacombs play as a setting.
In conclusion, the power of revenge played a large part in Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”. Montresor sought the death of Fortunato for insulting him, and had played Fortunato as a complete fool who bent according to his ruse. By examining the symbolism, irony, and settings within the story, the reader develops an understanding that revenge can become an unrelenting force.
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