Foreshadowing in Edgar Allen Poe´s The Cask of Amontillado

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Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado exhibits a narrative between two characters: Montresor, who is the narrator, and Fortunato, an overtly proud man who fails to see the foreshadowing of his own death by the hand of his friend. Although a short horror story, the ideas of pride and temptation are tossed around frequently. Montresor uses a fictitious cask of wine to ensnare Fortunatos’ wandering and fleeting senses. The downfall of Fortunato is because he held too much pride within himself, and Montresor is trying to show him that in a vengeful way. The story starts with Montresor vowing revenge on Fortunato for disgracing him, thus damaging his pride. Pride is a feeling a satisfaction from one’s own achievements. The opening line of the story demonstrates this exact thought: “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge” (Poe 1). One could surmise that Fortunato has wronged Montresor multiple times and he is now exacting revenge on him. He brings up his family’s coat of arms as well as if to say something about Fortunato disgracing his family. The coat of arms depicts a serpent being crushed by a foot, and the serpents’ teeth sinking deep into the foot. Fortunato is the undulating serpentine character in this, and the fangs embedded in the foot represent his cavalier vengeance striking upon the opposing force. It seems that even the family, with their motto of “nemo me impune lacessit”, meaning “no one insults me with impunity” (3), felt the same way Montresor did in the sense that they would take nothing lying down. Adding insult to injury, Fortunato barely remembered what the family’s coat of arms was. The whole story takes place 50 years after the inci... ... middle of paper ... ...ell off side of society. This is the side Montresor loses pride in and must somehow eliminate. He could have been Fortunato’s confidant at one point, thus forming the similarities, and the resulting consequence being Montresor overcoming Fortunato’s power and creating his own. Another similar factor they both have is they’re masons. A trowel materializes from Montresor’s being to assure Fortunato that he is indeed a mason. Platizky explains this fact, “Montresor uses Fortunato's pride in being a Mason . . . to entrap his adversary”. It’s using this fact to enhance both of their self-importance, and also to make Fortunato more agreeable and credulous in the situation. Overall, Edgar Allen Poes’ use of imagery, metaphors and character development display the desire to abstain others from being prideful. The story also flaunts the determination to inflate ones pride.
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