The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe

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Pride’s Revenge Both characters pride leads to some sort of destructive action during the story. Pride can be the reason someone is either over confident or, if a person’s pride is insulted or questioned, can lead to retaliation or revenge against that person. Throughout Edgar Allen Poe’s story “The Cask of Amontillado” there is an underlying motif of pride in which Montressor’s family arms are used to foreshadow the revenge that will be imparted upon Fortunato later on in Poe’s story and Fortunato’s pride leading him right into Montressor’s trap. Every family has a unique coat of arms. The coat of arms consists of a family crest and motto. Fortunato asks Montressor what his family arms are. He says, “A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel”(Poe 110). After he explains his family crest Fortunato asks him what his family motto is. He answers with, “Nemo me impune lacessit” (Poe 110). “[This] motto is also the motto of Scotland and the Order of the Thistle”(Cervo 155). At the beginning of the story Montressor says, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge”(Poe 108). This means that Fortunato had said something that insulted him and Montressor’s pride is driving him to feel the need not to retaliate immediately but to plan out a revenge that will ultimately lead to him killing Fortunato. It is not told in the story what Fortunato said to insult Montressor in order for him to justify his revenge against Fortunato. Instead of Montressor simply forgiving Fortunato for what he said he decided to take the easier route and sought out his revenge. As Author Ellis Cose said, “[Revenge] is so... ... middle of paper ...; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print. Booth, Alison, and Kelly J. Mays. The Norton Introduction to Literature. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print. Cervo, Nathan. "Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado." Explicator 51.3 (1993): 155. Literary Reference Center. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. Cose, Ellis. Bone to Pick: Of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation, and Revenge. New York: Atria, 2004. Print. Hoffman, Daniel. Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1972. Print. Stepp, Walter. "The Ironic Double In Poe's 'The Cask Of Amontillado'." Studies In Short Fiction 13.4 (1976): 447. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Apr. 2014 Weidman, Aaron C., and Jessica L. Tracy. "Saleem, Shiva, And Status: Authentic And Hubristic Pride Personified In Midnight's Children." Interdisciplinary Humanities 30.1 (2013): 5-29. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
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