The Theme Of Revenge In The Cask Of Amontillado

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Revenge is the opportunity to retaliate or gain satisfaction for a real or perceived

slight (Dictionary.com "revenge"). In “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe,

Montresor, the narrator, is out for revenge. Montressor seeks revenge against Fortunato and

thinks he has developed the perfect plan for “revenge with impunity” (Baym 715). Montresor

never tells the reader why he feels Fortunato deserves punishment. He only says that Fortunato

causes him “a thousand injuries”until “[venturing] upon insult” (Baym 714). As a result,

Montresor plans to bury Fortunato alive. Within this plot of revenge, Poe uses irony and

symbolism to develop his theme of a man who tries to gain absolution for the sin he is about to

commit.

Irony in "The Cask of
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Through the use of such ironic symbols, it becomes clear that a theme of a man

seeking endless salvation is painted. However, this is something achieved through continued

repression. The presentation and portrayal of Fortunato’s character are something that shows the

dark side of mankind. This dark side is usually enticed by sins which eventually makes it

impossible for men to achieve their potential. As well, Montresor is depicted as someone who is

looking for salvation (Sweet 332). While doing so, his character sacrifices a part of his life

(Gargano 313). Through the use of these two characters, Poe develops a powerful ironic

representation whereby Fortunato is the sinful and ruthless side of Montresor.

Verbal irony is the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the literal

meaning (dictionary.com “verbal-irony”). Verbal irony can be found at the very beginning when

Montresor says, “ At length I would be avenged” (Baym 714-715). This passage is referring to

the perceived insult that was caused by Fortunato on Montresor and the revenge, which

Montresor plans on taking out on him. The “length” as referred to in the passage, is, I
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