In his short story, The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allen Poe produces a macabre tale about pride, revenge, and deception. The haunting tale is narrated by the vengeful Montresor who seeks to redress the wrong doing of his peer, Fortunato. He allows his pride to overtake his humanity and consequently lures Fortunato to his murderous death. His plan, “I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes it redresser.
His superego is telling him all the things that could go wrong, but his ego is telling Montresor to go through with getting revenge by murdering Fortunato. Kevin J. Hayes states in his book The Annotated Poe, that the motivation for Montresor to murder Fortunato was Poe’s own desire to get revenge on a former friend, Thomas Dunn English (Hayes 351). Montresor, like Edgar Allan Poe, felt like he has been wronged and needed to punish that person. Fortunato shows up wearing a motley, similar to a joker’s attire. Scott Peoples says in the book “Social and psychological Disorder in the Works of Edgar Allan Poe” that his belief is that Montresor is committing this murder out of an act of jealousy.
The Vengeful Montressor of The Cask of Amontillado The story "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe is a story of murder and revenge. What is disturbing about this story is the lengths to which Montressor goes to gain this revenge. The statement "At length I would be avenged, this was a point definitely settled - but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk" (1314) tells much about the character Montressor. In this essay, I intend to show that this statement and others in the story indicate that Montressor was vengeful for past injustices and calculating in his plans to kill Fortunato. He was cold hearted enough to carry out these plans.
Montressor seeks revenge in an effort to support his time-honored family motto: ?nemo me impune lacessit? or (no one attack me without being punished). Montressor, the sinister narrator of this tale, pledges revenge on Fortunato for an insult. The character of Montressor provides the pinnacle of deceit and belligerence needed to portray the story?s sin. ... ... middle of paper ... ...ntressor?s catacombs, ?I drink to the buried that repose around us,?
Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” is a dark and foreboding tale about a man’s insatiable appetite for revenge, and his descent into madness. The story itself is a very macabre tale, no doubt, but is there a deeper, darker meaning? Looking at the symbols and references in the story and with the tragedy that surrounded the author for most his life, it would not be too far a stretch. What this tale could really be representing, is a small insight at what Poe saw in the worst of people. Deceit, murder, simple mindedness, hate, and untrustworthiness; all very primal feelings, with the exception of murder, reside in each and every individual.
The character of Montresor detailing the glorious murder he committed is a means of communicating to the reader that vengeance and pride are moral motivators that lead to treacherous deeds and dark thoughts. Vengeance and pride are fundamentally important to this short story. From the inception of the tale it is clear that the narrator is a proud, vindictive man; opening with, “the thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge,” the narrator immediately alerts the reader to the dark aspects of his own character. Because “insult” and not “the thousand injuries” caused the narrator to “vow” revenge, the reader can infer Montresor is prideful because, although he already had conflict with Fortunato, insult was what made the tense situation unbearable for Montresor––so much so that he vowed to take action. Use of the word “vow” is significant because it indicates that the grievance was meaningful in the mind of Montresor, allowing for the reader to more easily identify with the actions to be revealed throughout the course of the story; if the reader believes that Montresor was provoked in a profound way, ... ... middle of paper ... ... carnival, so that the narrator would not consult another supposed wine connoisseur about the cask of amontillado, the reader must identify with the dark parts of their character and learn from the mistakes of the characters in this story.
Another instance in which Poe shows foreshadowing, “ I must not only punish, but punish with impunity.”(777) Montresor further stated that he “ vowed revenge.” Montresor created his plan behind the basis of revenge with impunity. This hints early on in the story that Fortunato will somehow be harmed in one way or another. We heard this hint directly from the words of Montresor, the readers know that the narrator is planning a murder. This creates a fear factor for the readers because they can see the fate unravel and they know there is going to be death. The idea of death itself
One’s pride can either lead to justice or to revenge depending on the morals of the actions taken. In Edgar Allan Poe’s terrifying fictional short story “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor murders the narcissistic Fortunato to at first repair and then avenge his family’s honor and is solidified by renowned scholar Elena V. Baraban’s “The Motive for Murder in ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ by Edgar Allan Poe.” Throughout the story Poe navigates the paths of justice and revenge through restoring honor to the noble Montresor family name. Every wrong must be corrected, because justice is a show of morality. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Poe illustrates justice through Montresor restoring his family’s honor by putting Fortunato in his place after he insults Montresor’s pride when he pompously said that he forgot Montresor’s coat of arms (Poe 5) right after Montresor stated that “the Montresors were a great…family” (Poe 5). Montresor’s past tense use of “were” in reference to the Montresor family greatness implies a falling out that was most likely caused by Fortunato because of his slur against the Montresor family symbol during a time when family status meant everything.
Revenge is the cold sister of justice. It is often portrayed in both heroic and villainous sentiments, being a driving force in not only literary pieces, but also throughout history and everyday life. One fine instance, Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, exemplifies the wanting of revenge. The story is that of a man, Montresor, who is insulted by another individual, Fortunato. Enraged by this and another later said insult, Montresor seeks revenge upon Fortunato, and intends to achieve this by taking Fortunato’s life.
Edgar Allen Poe's, "The Cask Of Amontillado," is a between two enemies. It humorously portrays the foil of Fortunato, as he is led through the catacombs. Poe's humour is dark, sarcastic and very ironic, which quickly becomes a signpost of the tale. Poe sets himself apart from other authors in his works, based on how he depicts and encounters death. It accentuates the notion that at times, your worst enemy will appear as your best friend.