Theme Of Gothic Elements In The Cask Of Amontillado

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Gothic literature is known for captivating readers by bringing to light the dark side of humanity. The Gothic possesses many key elements such as paranoia, anxiety, death, etc. It strikes fear and suspense in the reader not by creating fictional monsters, but showing the reader the types of monsters that lurk within human beings. In “the Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, various themes of the Gothic are present throughout the short story such as gloom and doom, darkness, and madness. These elements are used to enhance the central theme of the piece: revenge. I will argue that Poe uses a number of the Gothic elements to craft an intense dark tale of revenge: an unreliable narrator, madness, darkness, a haunted setting, and evil/devil…show more content…
Poe creates a beautiful, suspenseful, and ominous narrative of revenge through these elements. From the beginning of the short story, he creates suspicion regarding trustworthiness of the narrator through the deliberate ambiguity regarding the motive of the murder and outfitting Montresor in black. Poe is using the Gothic elements of an unreliable narrator and darkness to warn readers that there is a hidden darkness residing inside Montresor. Moreover, the connection of Montresor to the serpent brings not only the Gothic component of evil, but also suggests a connection to the devil; also, Poe does not merely use a serpent, but a fanged serpent in reference to Montresor, which means that the serpent is venomous. Using the venomous serpent to portray Montresor in the coat of arms suggests that Montresor’s strike against Fortunato will be a deadly one. Without the use of Gothic elements to create a dark and suspenseful narrative, this story of revenge might be mistaken for a tale of justice. Removal of the Gothic elements in “the Cask of Amontillado,” would greatly reduce the quality of the work and possibly change the interpretation of the short story. In sum, without using elements of the Gothic, a tale of revenge could not be created because it would lack the darkness needed to craft a quality story of
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