What do you think of when you hear the name “Edgar Allan Poe?” The words dark, creepy, and even scary may come to mind. The Cask of Amontillado shows how far a vengeful narrator is willing to go to restore his honor and dignity, all the while creating a creepy atmosphere with a mix of both symbolism and irony. It’s no wonder Poe was considered a great master of horror.
In The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor, our narrator, is driven into getting revenge on Fortunato, the man who ventured insult unto him. It doesn’t say exactly what he did, but Montresor was set on punishing Fortunato with “impunity” and allowed us to believe that the crime was horrible enough to be punishable by death. Since the story is being told from Montresor’s self-serving viewpoint, his thoughts and actions are easily classified as something only someone not of a sane mind would have and/or do, therefore making him an unreliable narrator. In his mind, he is doing the right thing by committing murder because he thinks he is correct and even tries to justify his wrongdoings to us by mentioning his family’s coat of arms and its motto, “No one insults me with impunity.”
The creepy atmosphere in The Cask is created by mostly taking place in the dark, gloomy catacombs, in contrast to the lively, high-spirited carnival setting at the beginning of the story. Poe does an excellent job creating tension by letting the reader know that Montresor, regardless of having only dark intentions, inflates Fortunato’s ego with compliments, hence, having a greater chance of leaving him ignorant of being led to his inevitable doom. Despite guiding Fortunato into a trap, and eventually his death, Montresor stays calm, collected, and even seems to be caring and sympathetic towards F...
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...tories are inspired by true events, including this one? Maybe not everything you read is just “make-believe.”
Eroden, Veli Okan. "'The Cask of Amontillado' & 'The Tell-Tale Heart' by Edgar Allan POE." 24 January 2013. Web. 20 November 2013. http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/20815/the-cask-of-amontillado-tell-tale-heart-edgar-allan-poe
Leonard, Alicia Gale. "The Personae of Unreliable Narrators." 2005. Web. 20 November 2013.http://www.daltonstate.edu/faculty-staff/bmurray/EXEMPLAR/EXEMPLAR%20E-BOOK%202008#page=39
Lorcher, Trent. "Symbolism and Irony in 'The Cask of Amontillado.'" SForsyth, 10 September 2013, web. 17 November 2013.
Nillson, Christoffer. "Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Cask of Amontillado.'" 1997. Web. 20 November 2013. http://academic.luzurne.edu/shousenick/104--EDGARALLANPOE_cask_summary.doc
Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Cask of Amontillado." 1846. Print.
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Literary devices are tools used by the author to help the reader understand a given literary work. Writers use different literary devices depending on their style and what they wish their reader to get out of their work. One important literary device that is essential for a successful literary work is theme. Theme is the general insight into life that the author shares with the reader. There are a number of different methods from which an author can choose to present his/her theme. One common strategy is to communicate the theme through the use of mood; the overall feeling or emotion conjured within the reader. In Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Cask of Amontillado," and in Saki's short story, "The Interlopers," the mood evoked within the reader is used to communicate the short story's overall theme.
Benton, Richard P. "The Cask of Amontillado: Overview." Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 3 Dec. 2010.
Hess, Julie R. "Poe's Use of Irony in "The Cask of Amontillado"." Writing for the Arts and Humanities. December 2, 2005. http://www.webpages.shepherd.edu/jhess02/TheCaskofAmontilladobyPoe.htm (accessed January 30, 2014).
Irony and symbolism are tools used in writing to convey individual messages throughout the story. It is Edgar Allan Poe’s intense use of symbolism and irony throughout the Cask of Amontillado that gives this short story its suspense and horror filled theme.
Poe, Edgar A. "Short Stories: The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe." Short Stories: The
Edgar Allan Poe is a famous writer in writing detective stories and horror stories. One of his horror stories, “The Cask of Amontillado” was talking about how a man took his revenge to his friend. However, to look deeply in this story, I found that this story was not just simply a horror tale about how a man gets his revenge in the safest way. Instead, it also demonstrates much irony in several areas: the title, the event, the season, the costume, the environment, the characters’ personalities, a man’s dignity and cockiness and at the end, the public order. he are
Edgar Allan Poe is one of greatest American authors and poets. He is well-known as a master of using irony in his story. “The Cask of Amontillado” is a horror story about revenge of Montresor upon Fortunato. Fortunato believes Montresor is his good friend, but he ends up with being chained and walled in to the catacombs. There are three types of irony used in this short story: verbal irony, dramatic irony, and situational irony. Using these ironies, Poe wants the readers to understand about Montresor’s “friendship” with Fortunato.
Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most celebrated literary authors of all time, known for writing very suspenseful, dramatic short stories and a poet; is considered as being a part of the American Romantic Movement, and a lesser known opinion is he is regarded as the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. Most recognized for his mystery and macabre, a journey into the dark, ghastly stories of death, deception and revenge is what makes up his reputation. The short story under analysis is a part of his latter works; “The Cask of Amontillado”, a story of revenge takes readers into the mind of the murderer.
“The Cask of Amontillado” is a dark piece, much like other works of Edgar Allan Poe, and features the classic unreliable narrator, identified by himself only as Montresor. This sinister central character is a cold ruthless killer that is particularly fearsome because he views murder as a necessity and kills without remorse. Montresor is a character who personifies wickedness. Poe uses this character and his morally wrong thoughts and actions to help the reader identify with aspects of the extreme personage, allowing them to examine the less savory aspects of their own. 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.
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” is a frightening and entertaining short story about the severe consequences that result from persistent mockery and an unforgiving heart. Poe’s excellent use of Gothicism within the story sets the perfect tone for a dark and sinister plot of murder to unfold. “The Cask of Amontillado” simply overflows with various themes and other literary elements that result from Poe’s Gothic style of writing. Of these various themes, one that tends to dominant the story as a whole is the theme of revenge, which Poe supports with his sophisticated use of direct and indirect factors, irony, and symbolism.
Poe starts out with a man, by the name of Montresor, wanting revenge on another man, named Fortunato. Most of the story takes place deep in the Montresor family catacombs. As Montresor lures Fortunato into the catacombs, he chains Fortunato up to a small hole in a wall, bricks it over, and leaves Fortunato to die. Even through the traits of anger, hatred, and revenge, as the story progresses on, Montresor, the main character in “The Cask of Amontillado”, starts to show signs of feeling guilty for wanting to murder Fortunato.
Edgar Allan Poe's strong use of symbols throughout "The Cask of Amontillado" is what makes this story worthy of examination. The clever use of these devices by the author to shape this horrifying and gripping short story has made this piece be regarded as a classic American horror story, which revolves around the theme of vengeance and pride.