The Horrific Ending to Poe's The Cask of Amontillado

The Horrific Ending to Poe's The Cask of Amontillado

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The Horrific Ending to Poe's The Cask of Amontillado

End of the story is horrifying and shocking: Montresor traps and entombs living Fortunato behind the brick wall. The victim cries to the executioner: "For the love of God"(Poe, 214) but the only respond is ironical repeat of his own words. The story contains very strong and drastic images. Live burial practice is beyond any critic and "was once a practiced form of capital punishment. The historical context of this practice may indicate that Fortuanto wounded profoundly his friend. This wound must have been remembered and reconsidered since the end of the story reveals narrator's very strong emotions: hidden hatred, and cold anger. "Montresor implies that his rival, a member of the Freemasons, is responsible for his loss of status, happiness, love, and respect: "You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was"(Platinzky, par 3). But this is a very vague explanation because the author doesn't give and specific details.

When he completes his revenge plan he seems to be satisfied with his deed, and words "In pace requiescat" (Poe, 244) sarcastically emphasize his feelings and thoughts. It is difficult to determine what is more drastic: Fortunato's death, atmosphere of something unexpected, horrible, mysterious, and insincerity, false words, and betrayal, sarcasm, ironic, and pretended politeness, cold, calculated hatred. All of these images reveal the sophisticated cruelty of the protagonist. On the other side did Fortunato really do what he was accused of? Did Montresor was really right in his claims? If so, why Fortuanto was naive enough to accompany his enemy in the trip to vaults, to drink wine? Wine is a symbol of joy, consent, friendship, and companionship, but in this story is a very painful sign of betrayal. Maybe Montresor enlarged in his imagination Fortunato's real (or imagined) faults? Perhaps this entire story cover indirectly difficult problem of false, because both protagonists were very insincere persons. In this context the end of the story shows that both dishonest protagonists failed, even Montresor, who achieved his goal.

The end of the story is truly scary, and the most noticeable impression is the strength of hatred, negative emotions and feelings towards Fortuanto. I think that this kind of emotion is very destructive for a person who experiences it.

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What's more, after the execution, Montresor doesn't feel anything but the satisfaction mixed with sarcasm, which may indicate that hen is either evil, or obsessed. I don't like the end of the story because it realizes and reminds me that cruelty and sophisticated evil still exist.


1. Poe, Edgar, Allan. "The Cask of Amontillado." Reading and writing about literature. Ed. Philip Sipora. Pearson Education Inc. 2002. 240-244.

2. "Poe's The Cask of Amontillado." Explicator Summer99: 3_American Search Premier_ 23 Feb 2004.GALILEO
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