Essay on The Cask Of Amontillado By John Allen Poe

Essay on The Cask Of Amontillado By John Allen Poe

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“The Cask of Amontillado” is the story of a deranged man, Montresor, who recounts the heinous act he committed half a century ago in the catacombs of his home to an unknown listener. The reader is not sure who he tells his story to however it is to be noted Montresor confesses to his crime without a hint of remorse, he seems to be proud to have successfully gotten away with murder. Montresor’s desire for revenge is clear throughout the story however the same cannot be said for the motive. His victim, Fortunato, and the reader are unaware of Montresor’s true motive, all that is said is that Fortunato has insulted Montresor. Edgar Allen Poe’s story can be psychoanalyzed by using Sigmund Freud’s ideas and diving in to Montresor’s family and status.
The driving force is the id, “The id is the mind we are all born with, a seething mass of wholly selfish desires and the impulses aimed at the immediate and complete gratification of those desires”, that pushes the whole notion of murder forward (Rennison 39). The reader is told that “the thousands of injuries of Fortunato” Montresor has taken and he “vowed revenge” (Poe 291). Montresor lures Fortunato down to the catacombs to verify the legitimacy of the amontillado he has bought; exploiting Fortunato’s “weak point” who “prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine” (Poe 292). Montresor gives in to his animalistic desire for revenge upon an unsuspecting man, who knows not what damage he has bestowed to bring upon such a dreadful deed. Montresor takes Fortunato as a fool, for he has not given any reason for Fortunato to suspect him; Fortunato does “not perceive [his] smile now was at the thought of his immolation” (Poe 292). Taking great pleasure in luring down Fortunato, he also gives h...


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... he once was (Poe 293). Also Montresor’s family coat of arm “A huge human foot d’or, in a field of azure; the foot crushes a serpent whose fangs are imbedded in the heel and family’s moto “Nemo me immpune lacessit” play a part. Fortunato was not able to recall the arms or the moto and “being a descendent of a powerful aristocrat family, Montresor could not possibly let Fortunato insult him with impunity” (Baraban 170). Montresor is proud of his family, and mostly likely believes that Fortunato is below him, giving him enough reason to kill him. The moto also gives him another reason that translates to “ No one insults me with impurity” and Montresor must fulfil his “duty before his noble ancestry” (Baraban 170).
With Freud’s theories: id, ego, and super-ego, and Montresor feeling that he needs to take action for his family, his actions can clearly be explained.


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