Edgar Allen Poe's The Cask of Amontillado

Edgar Allen Poe's The Cask of Amontillado

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Poe's, The Cask of Amontillado is a story about fear and revenge. The story begins with Montressor's vow of revenge, foreshadowing future actions. "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult vowed revenge..." Montressor had to be sure not to raise suspicion of what he was going to do Fortunato. Montressor knew that Fortunato had a weakness that he could use towards his advantage.

Fortunato prided himself in being a connoisseur of fine wines. They were at a carnival and Fortunato approached Montressor at dusk, the madness of the carnival season. Fortunato was very drunk. Fortunato was dressed motley like a jester.

As reference from significant symbolism Poe used the Medallion of the Order of the Thistle: an 8 pointed star, charged with a figure of St. Andrew, which is set behind x- shaped cross he is holding. If alterated slightly it looks like the human figure is crossed out. In the story Montressor intent is to cross out Fortunato. In the story the figure of St. Andrew is replaced by a Mary Andrew figure, which is a jester.

Another example of foreshadow is Montressor's coat of arms and family motto is a foot stepping on a snake and the snake in a field of azure with its fangs in the heel, accompanied with the phrase "Nemo me impune lacessit," "no one assail me with impunity." The motto came from Scotland when the Danes were trying to attack and one of the men stepped on a thistle and yelled and warned the Scots and they lost the battle. But the thistle was changed to a snake in the coat of arms. Montressor was vowed to avenge his family's blow by Fortunato, even though we never find out what the insult was. There is literary symbolism such as their names. Fortunato, derived from fortunatus meaning prosperous or happy. Also referring to wealth or money, and abstractly meaning fate or luck.

Fortunato is fortunes favorite- the Lady Fortunato, Lady luck or God's favorite. Montressor is more material in the fact Tresor means storehouse or hoard. Montressor is jealous that Fortunato was so "rich, respected, admired, beloved..." He was not, so everyday was like an insult seeing Fortunato. Montressor invites Fortunato to his vaults where he keeps his wine selection. He told Fortunato of the Amontillado which Luchesi good not appreciate like he could.

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Fortunato had a bit of a cold entering the vault, and Poe with his knowledge geology and science, incorporated how the walls of the cask were encrusted with niter and it was damp, not very good for a cold. Nevertheless Fortunato wanted to proceed. Walking through the catacombs Fortunato coughs, and Montressor comments on it, and Fortunato replies with more foreshadowing, "I will not die from a cough." and Montressor says "True-True." Fortunato, in his drunken state is not aware of his fate ahead, example of dramatic irony. Montressor pops open a bottle of French red wine and hands it to Fortunato who says it will keep the damp away.

Fortunato drinks to the "buried that repose around us." And Montressor said "And I to your long life." This toast is an example verbal irony. They proceed down the catacombs to the end where Fortunato will meet his destiny.At the beginning Montressor tells Fortunato he is mason and Fortunato does not believe him, but he meant freemason. Montressor proceeds to chain Fortunato upright against the wall, a sort of replica of the crucifixion. Fortunato thinks he is joking while Montressor bricks up the small room. Fortunato says "For the love of God, and Montressor replies "Yes, for the love of God.-In pace requiescat."
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