Theme Of Revenge In The Cask Of Amontillado

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Revenge is the cold sister of justice. It is often portrayed in both heroic and villainous sentiments, being a driving force in not only literary pieces, but also throughout history and everyday life. One fine instance, Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, exemplifies the wanting of revenge. The story is that of a man, Montresor, who is insulted by another individual, Fortunato. Enraged by this and another later said insult, Montresor seeks revenge upon Fortunato, and intends to achieve this by taking Fortunato’s life. In Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, the reader develops an understanding that revenge can become an unrelenting force by examining the symbolism, irony, and settings within the story. To begin, the symbolism in Poe’s “The Cask of…show more content…
Fortunato is a significant symbol in the beginning of the story. "The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells." (Poe par. 4). He has dressed for the local carnival as a jester, or a fool, while his drunken behavior and ignorance of Montresor only support this imagery. Montresor himself dawns a black cloak and a mask of black silk, which veils his identity. These garments symbolize an executioner, which Montresor shall become later in the story. The Cask of Amontillado is also two symbols, as the word cask shares the same root as casket, and the Amontillado itself represents the two causes of Fortunato’s demise. The first of which is his drunkenness, which causes him to venture further into the catacombs under the understanding that his efforts will result in free Amontillado. The second cause is Fortunato’s passion for wine left him susceptible to flattery, which…show more content…
For example, one clear piece is “Montresor’s use of the word “friend” in reference to Fortunato, a man Montresor hates enough to kill. Another strong situation of irony is Fortunato’s name, which in Italian is fortunate, where as he clearly becomes the victim of Montesor’s plight for revenge. Montresor also provides many instances of irony with Fortunato. One case was his behavior towards his victim, plainly stating "It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation." (Poe par. 2). Montresor’s first words to Fortunato were “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met.” (Poe par. 5). In this instance, Fortunato believes that he is being approached for his expertise in wine, but is truly met because the “madness” of the carnival was a prime interval in which the murder could take place. Another piece of irony is Montresor’s continuous efforts in talking Fortunato out of sampling the Amontillado on the case of Fortunato’s declining health. Later when Fortunato exclaims, “I will not die of a cough.” Montresor responds with, “true.” (Poe par. 36/37). Montresor then drinks to Fortunato’s “long life”, which he will later end. The conversation regarding the Masons exhibits an ironic misunderstanding, where Fortunato refers to
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