Anything not taken in moderation can be damaging. In one of Edgar Allen Poe's best-known tales of horror, "The Cask of Amontillado," he suggests that pride can be a very dangerous thing, when one is overwhelmed with it. Through the use of foreshadowing, irony, and symbolism, Poe presents a horrific drama of two men. One who will stop at nothing to get the revenge that he deems himself and his family worthy of, and another who's pride will ultimately be the fall of his own death. Fortunato falls prey to Montressor's plans because he is so proud of his connoisseurship of wine, and it is for the sake of his own pride that Montressor takes revenge on Fortunato. Poe utilizes the theme of pride and many other literary techniques such as foreshadowing, revenge, and irony, in order to create a horrific and suspenseful masterpiece.
In "The Cask of Amontillado," Poe utilizes foreshadowing in a most grim and dark way. First, when Fortunato says, "I shall not die of a cough" 1, Montressor replies, "True-true"2. Instead, Montressor knows that Fortunato will perish from his vengeful scheme of walling him up, and having him die of starvation and dehydration. Fortunato is a proud man and he does not think that his death with be due to something as petty as a cold. Rather, he believes that his life will end as a result of some courageous act and he will die a noble death. However, Montressor can only laugh at this thought because he knows Fortunato's death will be far from noble and his pride will be broken when he is caught in his trap. Another instance of foreshadowing comes with the trowel scene. At one point in their journey, Fortunato makes a movement that is a secret sign of the Masons, an exclusive, fraternity-like organization. Montressor does not recognize this hand signal, but claims that he is a "mason". When Fortunato asks for proof, Montressor shows him his trowel. Montressor implies here he is a stonemason and, that he will be building things out of stones and mortar such as Fortunato's grave.
Irony is also used throughout this tale. The use of revenge in this story shows irony. Montressor avenges himself by fooling Fortunato into literally walking into his own grave. Fortunato pursues the "cask" which ends up being his own casket. Montressor even asks Fortunato repeatedly whether he would like to turn back.
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Montresor does not want Fortunato to die from anything other than his own plan of slow death by asphyxiation. Symbolism in "The Cask of Amontillado" This story by Poe has numerous examples of symbolism. For example, the manner in which Fortunato is dressed is ironic for a man with his societal prominence.
Though Fortunato is an intelligent wine expert, his expertise leads him to his death. In Italian the word Fortunato means fortunate, something that he is not by the end of the story. In “The Cask of Amontillado” Edgar Allan Poe uses foreshadowing and dramatic irony and verbal irony to show Fortunato’s misfortunes which eventually lead to his death.
The protagonists Montresor wants to get back at Fortunato for deeply insulting him and Montresor vows for revenge. During the fall carnival, he sees his opportunity and is quick to pounce on this and put his plan into place. “With Fortunato intoxicated and falling and stumbling all over the place Montresor knows that the time is now” (Russell 211). Montresor knows Fortunato’s weakness for wine and Montresor tells him he found Amontillado a very rare wine and it is in his vault. Montresor knows how far Fortunato will go for wine as rare as Amontillado and that is what eventually leads to his tormented and revengeful death. Edgar Allan Poe also gives lots of scenes that foreshadow to the future and the plotting about the death of Fortunato and the steps leading up to it. “The great example is putting Montresor into the future fifty years later telling the story and everything that went into the murder that he had committed” (Elliot 268). Poe depicts that revenge is very sweet and even fifty years later, that the deep gothic death and revenge themes still show up in Poe’s writings (Russell
In Edgar Allen Poe’s story The Cask of Amontillado the main character Montresor tricks his friend Fortunato into his catacombs and buries him alive. Edgar Allen Poe’s character commits this deed out of a need for revenge because of some hurt that was committed against him. Poe conveys this need for revenge through his attention to the small details within his story.
Poe's, The Cask of Amontillado is a story about fear and revenge. The story begins with Montressor's vow of revenge, foreshadowing future actions. "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult vowed revenge..." Montressor had to be sure not to raise suspicion of what he was going to do Fortunato. Montressor knew that Fortunato had a weakness that he could use towards his advantage.
Edgar Allen Poe shows how situational, dramatic, and verbal irony plays an important part in the essence of the story in “The Cask of Amontillado”. The story overall is ironic because Montresor and Fortunato are supposedly friends, but Montresor actually feels as though Fortunato has done him wrong. Montresor holds a murderous grudge against Fortunato and leaves him alone to die. Fortunato will die having no idea what he did to make Montresor feel that way towards
A main theme presented in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe is that Montresor shows obsession with the murder of fortunato. This is exemplified by Montresor’s precise planning, carefulness and slowness of speed in the process.
Edgar Allan Poe's "A Cask of Amontillado" is perhaps the most famous tale of terror ever written. Montresor, the story's narrator, leads the reader through his revenge on Fortunato. Montresor entices Fortunato into the dark recesses of the family catacombs with the promise of a very fine wine. At the climax of the story, Montresor shackles Fortunato to a wall and seals him away forever behind brick and mortar. In all of Poe's short stories he attempts to convey "a certain unique or single effect." "A Cask of Amontillado" expresses its dark view of human intention by using elements of irony, foreshadowing, and metaphor. The first person point of view also lends itself to an exploration of the inner secrets of Montresor.
In the story “The Cask of Amontillado”, the author uses lots of verbal irony to emphasize the evil intentions of Montresor.One of the examples of verbal irony in the story that he uses is “The cough’s a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough.” and “true--true, I replied.” The effect of this irony is it that Montresor already knows how Fortunato will die.Another example of verbal irony used in the story was when they did a toast to each other. “I drink”, he said, to the buried that repose around us.”
Beginning with the title of his story, Poe utilized the same base word for both cask and casket, which is ironic in that the journey to a wine barrel leads Fortunato’s to his final resting place. The irony is not apparent at first, but Poe informs the reader with his first line that this is a tale of revenge. Montresor stated “but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge” (Poe 714). With the prior knowledge that Montresor is anticipating Fortunato’s downfall, with Fortunato blissfully unaware of that fact, the readers are now conscious of the inherent dramatic irony. This knowledge also emphasizes the recurrent irony that is presented in the conversation between the two men. When Montresor greets Fortunato and tells him “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met” (Poe 715), Poe has made it clear that a catastrophe is about to befall him, thereby rendering Fortunato unquestionably unlucky. The concern Montresor demonstrates for Fortunato’s cough, and Fortunato’s nonchalant reply, “the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me” (Poe 716), is an example of both dramatic and verbal irony. Poe has shown that Montresor is not in the least bit concerned with Fortunato’s health and that he is staging Fortunato’s demise. Another example of irony Poe depicts, is when Fortunato asks Montresor if he is a mason. Montresor then produces a trowel and confirms that he is in a fact a
Poe uses the aspects of dramatic and verbal irony, foreshadowing and symbolism to shape his tale of revenge. Fortunato's fate is death and Montresor tries to make his intentions seem honorable. His intentions were not honorable, just evil. He does however, manage to get what he set out for, revenge.
Montresor explains to Fortunato that he is of the masons. Fortunato asks Montresor for a sign of being a mason. This is an example of dramatic irony because even though the reader knows the truth behind the story, Fortunato does not. In the passage Poe states, “It is this, I answered, producing a towel from beneath the folds of my roquelaure.” (pg. 239). Poe also states in the passage, “You are not of the masons.” (pg. 239). Montresor is trying to put himself on the same level of Fortunato, which Fortunato does not ever let him, and that causes part of the feud that Montresor has for Fortunato. Another example of dramatic irony is Fortunato develops a cough and has become sick which leads him to believe that is what he will die from. This is dramatic irony because the reader fully knows that Fortunato is going to die, but because of a cough. It states in the passage, “the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kiss me. I shall not die of a cough.” (pg. 238). Montresor leads on Fortunato by stating, “we will go back; your health is precious.” (pg. 238). Montresor shows Fortunato that he cares about his health when in reality he wants him dead. Fortunato has no idea that he is going to end up dead, but the reader is fully aware of what is going to happen to
Edgar Allen Poe uses irony and poetic justice all throughout “The Cask of the Amontillado”. The places where irony and poetic justice hold the most significance are the scenes where, Montresor speaks of the wronging done to him by Fortunato, where Montresor and fortunato speak of the coat of arms, and where at the very end when Montresor traps Fortunato in the catacombs and leaves him to die. These scenes clearly show the use of these two tools that Poe used to tell the story of Montresor and
For instance, Montresor’s family crest is a serpent biting into an ankle treading upon it. The emblem is symbolic of Montresor’s response to being bitten by Fortunato’s foolish pride. The snake on the crest and the family’s motto, “No one wounds me with immunity,” both address Montresor’s seemingly inherited nature to retaliate. Another instance of symbolism in the story, is the reference to the secret society, the Freemasons. As a sign to prove his fellowship, Montresor pulls out a trowel to show his brotherhood. Ironically, this is the same trowel that will seal Fortunato’s tomb. The final major symbol in “The Cask of Amontillado,” is the Amontillado wine. The way the wine is created is through the deprivation of oxygen, the same way Fortunato is killed. The thought put into the murder portrays Montresor as a genius, but also shows the regard he has for his victim. Montresor sees his victim like a cheap bottle of sherry instead of the fine Amontillado that is revered and mature. Taking it upon himself, Montresor decides to mature Fortunato and views it as a masterpiece. The death of Fortunato is Montresor’s art (Lewis
The Cask of Amontillado, one of Edgar Allen Poe’s most celebrated works, paints a very sinister and dark tale of revenge. It is riddled with symbolism of what is in store for Fortunato who has betrayed Montresor in what Montresor perceives to warrant a grievous end. Throughout their the interaction, there are subtleties in which one might think there is a way out, but ultimately greed takes over which leads to Fortunato 's undoing.