The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

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The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

In ?The Cask of Amontillado?, Edgar Allan Poe takes us on a trip into the mind of a mad man. Poe uses certain elements to convey an emotional impact. He utilizes irony, descriptive detail of setting, and dark character traits to create the search of sinful deceit. Poe also uses first person, where the narrator is the protagonist who is deeply involved. The purpose is to get the reader to no longer be the observer. He wants them to see with Montressor?s eyes, hear with his ears, and to react as he would. There is no real violence in the modern sense of the word. However, it is more horrifying because rather than seeing it through our eyes, we feel it through words. This short story is a great example of how descriptive imagery and irony can give an overall mood of horror and impending evil. The story provides the reader with the feeling of deception and a curiosity of the darkness of the murderous plot. Poe?s style is what makes this a masterpiece of horror.

?The Cask of Amontillado? is a powerful tale of revenge. Poe does not disappoint us as his audience, as we are invited to visit the inner workings of a sinister mind. Telling the story from Montressor?s point of view, intensifies the effect of the moral shock and horror. Through Poe?s use of irony, this short story is a carefully crafted story of revenge with ironic wordplay. 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. ...

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...ntressor?s catacombs, ?I drink to the buried that repose around us,? not knowing he soon would join them.

The sinful deceit in ?The Cask of Amontillado? is linked to Poe?s use of irony, descriptive detail, and character traits. The short story successfully creates an emotion of sin and deceit. Through his writing techniques we get a vivid idea of his deception and darkness. The damp catacombs of ?The Cask of Amontillado? complement the dark doings, but the setting gives closure to the total effect in a subtle fashion. Although, a short story, Poe creates a nightmare that is almost guaranteed to give his readers a sleepless night. As the ?cask? of Amontillado draws Fortunato into the ?casket?, we get a feeling of our own fear.


Poe, Edgar A. The Cask of Amontillado. Edgar Allan Poe: Sixty-Seven Tales. Avenel, New Jersey: Gramercy Books, 1985.
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