The Cask Of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe’s Description of the Topic of Vengeance as Illustrated in His Book, The Cask of Amontillado
Is revenge ever justified? Mankind believes in the necessity of revenge to make justice, by their own hands. The idea of revenge has been present in numerous novels, television shows, as well as movies and films. For instance in the movie Taken, the theme of revenge is clearly shown when a retired Gonverment Agent, Bryan, suffers the kidnapping of his daughter while on a trip to France and he wants to annhilate everyone involved in the disappearance, promissing to himself to take revenge for what they did to his daughter. Essentially, in “The Cask of Amontillado,” Poe presents the reader with Montressor, an egotistical maniac, who’s drive for revenge leads him to imprisoning and killing Fortunato, the man who supposedly insults Montressor, though to what extent is unknown. Poe uses peculiar word choice, sophisticated verbal irony, and the theme of revenge to convey an eerie and melodramatic mood which becomes one of the main elements in “The Cask of Amontillado.”
Helping create the mood, Poe uses dramatic and verbal irony to help extend the suspenseful and mysterious mood throughout the story. For instance, when Montressor and Fortunato meet and they want to go try some of the Amontillado, he refers to Fortunato by saying, “My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the severe cold with which I perceive you are afflicted. (375)” Evidently the author is showing verbal irony because, clearly Montressor doesn’t care about Fortunato’s health, yet he refers to him as “friend.” The use of dramatic irony is implemented at the end of the story, Fortunato says to Montressor,” Will not [Lady Fortunato and the rest] be awaiting us at the palazzo? Let us be gone,”(379) and Montressor agrees to him by saying “Yes…let us be gone.(379)” Clearly, both of them say the same phrase, however the meaning is different. Fortunato wants to go home, with his wife, while Montressor wants him gone forever.Furthermore, the use of dramatic irony is present when Montressor tells himself that“I [continue]…to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation. (372)” Clearly, Fortunato did not expect anything sinister from his trustworthy friend. Moreover, the hint Montressor gives to the readers with his smile of immolation, the reader knows something nefarious is about to occur to Fortunato .Certainly, the use of irony contributes to the shaping of the mood throughout the story, as well as the congenial and intricate use of word choice.
The use of word choice is perspicuously seen in “The Cask of Amontillado,” to create suspenseful mood, and have an unpredictable idea of the story. Poe carefully chooses words that convey a strong sense of place to reader and contribute to the creation of tension. For example, even though a carnival setting is expected to be joyful and exuberant, Poe saddens the tone of the setting by stating to the reader that, “It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season (372).” The setting was greatly changed, because of the unique use of word choice, that is enough can give the story a completely different twist. Consequently, the repetition of words builds up the tension of the story. Another great example of word choice can be perceived when they are at the catacombs and Poe says, “A succession of loud and shrill screams, [burst] suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back.(379)” The word choice applied in the descriptive passages such as these, help the reader feel the chilly mood and what the characters sense. Toward the end the use of repetition of words can clearly be seen how it contributes to the mood. For example, the tension starts building up at Fortunato’s final moments, when Fortunato says, “For the love of God, Montressor… Yes, for the love of God.” Assuredly, this repetition of words creates an austere sense to the reader, and contributes with one of the most important aspects in this short story, the mood.
A great factor that determines the gothic and suspenseful mood of the story is the theme employed by Poe. “The Cask of Amontillado” shares the theme of revenge, and its a component of the mood built throughout the story. For example, “The thousands injuries of Fortunato I had Borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.(372)” The theme of revenge clearly can be felt, and plays a key role in the mood of the story. Due to the revenge, the mood is eerie, creepy, with a sense of sinister. Another great example is shown, “At length, I [will] be avenged; this was a point definitively settled.” Assuredly, the mood is not only eerie, but mysterious as well. Montressor is seeking for revenge, but the reader does not know why he is seeking for revenge, greatly contributing with the mood.
The use of sumptous word choice, and astounding verbal irony, tied togeher with the theme convey an eerie and melodramatic mood which becomes one of the main elements in “The Cask of Amontillado.” Furthermore, he demonstrates that verbal irony, as well as the strenuous word choice, and the theme of revenge contribute to the creation of the mood in the story.
“The Cask of Amontillado”: Guilt can Never be Silenced
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”, published in 1844, proves to be a cautionary tale of the repression of guilt. The story is told through the perspective of Montresor, a man who is deeply insulted by his ‘friend’ Fortunato. Montresor vows to extract revenge for the insults thrown at him and his family, and does so through murder. Throughout the story, it becomes evident that Montresor will not get away with the crime he intends to commit, and instead will be haunted by the details of the deed. The motive for the crime and pieces of irony within the story support the idea that conscience cannot be silenced, especially when one attempts to bury the guilt of their sins.
Montresor’s reasoning for wanting revenge on Fortunato does not justify the crime he commits, which contributes to why he feels guilt for the act. In the very beginning of the story, Montresor says, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge” (714). The reason why Montresor is seeking revenge is not because of the injury caused, but because Fortunato has insulted his family’s name. It is revealed that Montresor’s family motto is “Nemo me impune lacessit”, which translates to “No one insults me with impunity” (717). Montresor feels as though he cannot let Fortunato get away with his insults due to the motto his family has lived by. But, at the same time, that reasoning is not enough to justify murder, not even to Montresor. That is why he cannot move on from the crime he commits. Although the insults are never described in detail, it can be inferred that they have something to do with societal standards. There is a war between Montresor and Fortunato over their rank in society. The Montresor name has diminished in importance, while the Fortunato name has flourished. Montresor tells Fortunato, “You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was” (716). Montresor is jealous of Fortunato because he has acquired all the things Montresor has lost. His revenge is structured not only around requitement for his family’s name, but also out of his own personal envy. Fortunato has everything Montresor wants, but no longer has. Although the jealousy and hope to avenge his family’s insulted name push Montresor to kill Fortunato, in the end they do not hold up as meaningful justifications. Montresor has trouble repressing the crime he has committed because the guilt is too strong. His motive for murder was not strong enough to allow him to see the crime as justified, which is why he lives buried in guilt over a crime that happened over half a century ago.
Throughout the story, details derived in irony foreshadow that the crime will not go the way Montresor wishes it to go. In the catacombs, Montresor describes his family’s coat of arms to Fortunato; “A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel” (717). The description depicts a foot crushing a snake, while the snake bites the foot. It is a double ended sword that is ironic to the situation at hand. As if one is the snake and one is the foot, both Fortunato and Montresor will be hurt by Montresor’s actions. Fortunato will be killed, and Montresor will live in guilt. Montresor seeks revenge for the insults to the Montresor name, while the Montresor coat of arms warns about the outcome. With his motive clear, Montresor states that he must commit the crime without getting caught; “I must not only punish but punish with impunity” (715). This simple statement proves to be extremely ironic because Montresor succeeds in punishing Fortunato, but he fails in getting away with it. The only guideline to how he must handle his revenge is the one that is not followed. Although Montresor does not get caught by others, he is the only force standing in the way of his freedom from the crime. Montresor has failed in his task. Even though Fortunato is dead, Montresor has lived, and will live, under the heavy burden of guilt. In an ironic twist, the murder was in vain, as it was not completed with impunity. The Montresor coat of arms and the plan to punish with impunity are ironic details that serve in foreshadowing Montresor’s fate, and his never-ending burden of guilt.
In the end, Montresor successfully kills Fortunato, but due to the guilt he can never forget, he never gets away with the crime. When he is constructing the wall that buries Fortunato, Montresor has trouble with the last stone, “There remained but a single stone to be fitted and plastered in. I struggled with its weight” (719). The last stone represents the deed finally being done. Montresor struggles with it because he then must come to terms with the crime he has committed. With the last stone in place, the crime is done, and it is real. The weight of the last stone also symbolizes the weight finishing the crime has on Montresor, and the emotional struggle repressing the act will have. Montresor has trouble with the physical burial of Fortunato just like how he has trouble with the emotional burial of his own guilt. The crime is played out like a mirror; the last stone and the burial representing the emotional weight of the crime and the burial of the guilt. In addition, there are moments in the story that lead to the belief that Montresor is hesitant with the crime. When he first chains Fortunato to the wall, he suddenly stops, “For a brief moment I hesitated, I trembled” (718). Montresor is unsure about what he is doing. He has to stop before he can continue. The act of committing the crime is becoming real in this moment, it is no longer just a plan. When it is all over, Montresor falls ill, “My heart grew sick; it was dampness of the catacombs that made it so” (719). The nitre is not the cause of Montresor’s heartsickness. The cause is the crime. Montresor does not want to believe that he could be feeling ill from what he has done, so he proposes and excuse. In reality, Montresor is being to feel guilt. “He still remembers his heart’s ‘growing sick – on account of the dampness of the catacombs,’ but his heartsickness likely arises from the empathy with the man he is leaving to die amid that dampness” (Baraban). Montresor will never be able to escape the heartsick feeling he feels in the catacombs because it follows him his entire life. When the story is over, Montresor says, “In pace requiescat”, which means, “May he rest in peace” (719). This short statement indicates that Montresor is sorry for what he has done, and further supports the fact that he will never get over the crime he has committed. The weight of the last stone, the hesitation in the crime, and the obvious guilt that is felt proves that Montresor will not be able to get away with the murder of Fortunato.
The guilt for the sin Montresor has committed stays with him for most of his life, supporting the idea that the conscience cannot be silenced. Montresor wants to get away with the murder, but he is standing in his own way of freedom. After he has finished sharing the story of Fortunato’s death, he says, “Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them” (719). Montresor is sharing this story fifty years after it has happened. Even though he has tried to bury the emotional burden, it could not be ignored. G.R. Thompson argues that “Montresor, rather than having successfully taken his revenge ‘with impunity’…has instead suffered a fifty-year’s ravage of conscience” (Baraban). Montresor has failed in his task to murder Fortunato without paying for it because he has payed for it for fifty years. His guilt has been a weight on him and finally he is telling the truth and admitting to the crime. Baraban explains that “Thompson uses the fact that Montresor’s narration is actually a confession made on his deathbed to support the argument about Montresor’s troubled conscience”. Fifty years after the crime, Montresor is dying. He has suffered half of a century with the weight of a sin crushing him. He reveals it as he is dying, unable to die without confessing his guilt. Montresor suffered “pangs of conscience” for almost all his life (Baraban). The fact that the story is told by Montresor fifty years after it occurred means that he had been struggling with his guilt for all that time, supporting the idea that conscience can never be silenced.
In “The Cask of Amontillado”, by Edgar Allan Poe, the unjustified motive for murder, the ironic details that foreshadow the outcome, and the guilt that Montresor feels support the claim that conscience can never be buried or ignored. Montresor tried to commit a crime in order to extract revenge. In the end, he successfully killed Fortunato, but destroyed himself in the process. The guilt of the crime weighed heavy on Montresor for fifty years until he could no longer hide the crime he committed. This story is a cautionary tale that serves to warn others; guilt cannot be buried as easily as the body.
Baraban, Elena V. “The Motive for Murder in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe.” Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 58.2 (2004): 47-62. Web.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of Amontillado.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Volume B, 8th ed. Ed. Nina Baym. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2012. 714– 719. Print.
Repression of Sexuality in “The Cask of Amontillado”
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” features a unique symbolism of the repression of homosexual desire and of the damaging effects of a society that promotes repressive behavior. This short story details the process of imprisoning that which the narrator despises—both literally and metaphorically. Yet a queer analytical lens brings the figurative homoerotic undertones of the tale to light; focusing predominantly on sexuality illuminates the metaphorical imprisonment and repression of the narrator’s same-sex desires. Ultimately, the narrator suppresses his sexuality and displaces his hatred onto Fortunato due to societal pressures, thus acting to stifle something considered taboo and heinous.
Queer theory analyzes the role of sexuality in literary works and its influence on characters’ identities. Whether a character’s sexuality is blatantly stated, subtlety alluded to, or completely ignored in a text, its presence or lack thereof presents an intriguing analytical lens through which to dissect a piece of literature. Johanna Smith’s article “What Are Gender Criticism and Queer Theory” describes queer theory as an “emphasis on sexuality and on its broader insistence that the multifaceted and fluid character of identity negates efforts to categorize people on the basis of any one characteristic” (388). The sexuality of a character can exist on a spectrum, as that character can have queer characteristics without being labelled gay, and can experience same-sex desire while existing outside of the binary categories society creates. A character does not need to form his or her entire persona around that aspect of identity, or even to accept that aspect.
A character’s identity consists of many qualities; however, the repression and denial of any aspect can detrimentally affect well-being and mental state. If the character lives in a society where going against the norm of heterosexuality is considered detestable, then “homosexual panic, the revelation of an unspeakable same-sex desire” (Smith 391) can cause distress, and an anxious desire for repression. Once a character recognizes innate same-sex desire, that character enters a state of dread, of fear of being discovered and ostracized by society—leading to the unsuccessful suppression of sexuality. Such anxiety, combined with repression, can drastically impact a character’s mental state. That character comes to despise his or her sexuality merely for its peculiarity and society’s taboos, and for an inability to be rid of it—creating an internal conflict.
Poe’s story features numerous elements that suggest same-sex desire and symbolism for sexuality itself: “It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand” (Poe). This portion of Poe’s story relies heavily upon juxtaposing amiable and aggressive words and imagery. Poe uses words generally associated with violence such as “accosted” and “wringing” to describe the cordial actions of hugging and shaking hands—customs generally expressing friendship. This harsh contrast not only conveys the narrator’s literal hostility towards Fortunato, but also the opposing forces of love and hate that reside within him. The narrator is torn between the love and desire that come with sexuality and his hatred for homosexual desire, and for the confusion and problems it brings to his life. His constant switching between hostile and friendly words displays the internal conflict within the narrator due to his same-sex desire, which he considers madness.
Since the narrator finds his sexuality to be disorienting, it is only befitting that he executes his plan to completely rid himself of it during a carnival—the epitome of foolishness and insanity. He then finds a person to personify his sexuality—his friend, Fortunato—a man known for improper antics and who is literally wearing clothing worn by fools. The narrator’s focus on the clothing emphasizes how Fortunato represents something ridiculous and strange, an image of how Montresor views his same-sex desire. Although he wishes to completely rid himself of his sexuality, and subsequently the man who represents it, Montresor cannot help but feel a slight joy in allowing himself to stop repressing his desire for a moment. The pleasure that the narrator apparently gleans from seeing Fortunato also translates into his joy upon letting his desire out into the open.
Montresor allows his homoerotic desire to escape, for he knows that, to completely rid himself of it, he must confront and capture it. He cannot take action against this desire while denying its existence. Once he fully acknowledges his sexuality, his hatred for having such a scandalous desire bubbles to the surface and he projects his harsh emotions onto Fortunato. Having a person as the personification of his sexuality gives Montresor a physical entity on which to focus his rage and confusion. The contradicting phrases that the narrator uses to describe Fortunato support the notion that Montresor does not hate him as a man, but merely hates what he represents. He describes Fortunato as a friend many times, and as he finishes trapping him inside the catacombs, his “heart [grows] sick” (Poe), a sentiment which he weakly attributes to the mugginess of the tunnel. Montresor feels such pain after completely sealing off Fortunato because he has hurt his friend, and has also lost a part of his identity.
Despite the projection of hate onto Fortunato and the desire to be rid of something that causes suffering, Montresor does not want to completely distance himself from his sexuality. He recognizes that his same-sex desire is part of his sense of self, and that completely suppressing it would cause him to lose a piece of himself. Even though he wishes to destroy his source of shame, Montresor does not violently murder Fortunato—and subsequently his sexuality—but constructs an elaborate plan to literally wall up his feelings and the man. He chooses his own family catacomb to become the resting place of his sexuality—a place close by, and reserved only for those dear to Montresor. Montresor also has second thoughts about finishing the wall as his goals start to become reality; he even calls to Fortunato, as he realizes that his metaphorical sexuality is leaving him. These small details reveal that the narrator does not innately hate his homoeroticism, nor truly want to rid himself of it.
Although he does not inherently despise his sexuality, Montresor cannot explore his feelings and thus feels ostracized, causing him to project his hatred of society and himself onto Fortunato. By sealing away Fortunato, Montresor literally and figuratively walls up his desire and removes the source of his frustration and of his feelings of being different. Montresor forces himself to completely seal off his sexuality so that he will no longer be separated from the norm and can reintegrate himself back into society. His intense distress over something unspeakable in his society causes him to experience homosexual panic, go slightly mad, and construct a scheme to rid himself of a strong desire.
Montresor’s suppression of his sexuality due to living in a culture that admonishes such behavior leads to the events described in the story. In an effort to be “normal,” the narrator constructs a plan to forever rid himself of his same-sex desire. He personifies his sexuality as his friend Fortunato, towards whom he then directs all of his hatred for having homoerotic aspects and the ostracization that comes with them. Montresor’s literal sealing away of Fortunato symbolizes the complete suppression of that aspect of his identity, something that he does not truly despise nor want to lose, but that he knows he must eliminate in order to function as a social being. The distress that Montresor experiences symbolizes the detrimental effects of a society that promotes the repression of sexuality.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe – Poestories.com.” Poestories. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2016.
Smith, Johanna. “What Are Gender Criticism and Queer Theory.” Frankenstein: Complete, Authoritative Text with Biographical, Historical, and Cultural Contexts, Critical History, and Essays from Contemporary Critical Perspectives, Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000, pp. 381-400
Heavy Symbolism and the Characterization of the Narrator in Hawthorne’s The Minister’s Black Veil and Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado
Both stories, The Minister’s Black Veil, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and The Cask of Amontillado, written by Edgar Allan Poe, are both known to be examples of gothic horror from the 19th century. While both stories were written within the same time period and are of the same genre, they differ from one another. Writing is so broad, that authors are capable of portraying a certain genre through focusing on different aspects of their writing. Hawthorne’s story concentrates on portraying an overall message with heavy symbolism, whereas Poe’s story is a tale more focused on the characterization of the narrator and his revenge driven journey.
The Minister’s Black Veil is a story that could also be described as a parable. This could be said because Hawthorne has an underlying message within the story that he’s trying to convey to his readers. The overall focus is placed on the Minister, who wears a black veil after he commit an unknown sin. The message that is conveyed here is that people are hypocritical; just because the Minister’s sin is visible by way of the veil, they judge him. However, just because they don’t have a visual representation of their own sins like the Minister, they seemingly have forgotten about them and act as if they are pure. “He could not walk the street with any peace of mind, so conscious was he that the gentle and timid would turn aside to avoid him, and that others would make it a point of hardihood to throw themselves in his way.” In this example, the townspeople are going out of their way to either avoid him or to get in his way, which showcase their judgements. Hawthorne also uses a lot of symbolism in this story, a strong example being the veil that the Minister wears. “If I hide my face for sorrow, there is cause enough… and if I cover it for secret sin, what mortal might not do the same?” Hawthorne is directly linking the veil with secret sin within this example, showing the symbolism.
While Hawthorne’s story was more centralized towards structure, The Cask of Amontillado strays towards the characterization of the narrator. The narrator of this story is clearly mad, which is portrayed in this example, “The thousand of injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” The fact that the narrator has “borne thousands of injuries” from this Fortunato character, but decided to seek revenge only when he insulted him, depicts his madness. Also, in this example the narrator is using hyperbole; exaggerating the amount of times he’s been “hurt” by Fortunato, which shows that while the character has probably wronged him in the past, he needs to exaggerate in order to feel good about enacting his revenge. Poe also utilizes a great deal of irony in this story. An example would be, “And I to your long life.” which is ironic because here Montresor is drinking to Fortunato’s “long life”, which the readers know won’t be very long at all because of his plot to seek revenge and murder him. The use of this irony further depicts the narrator’s insanity.
Both Hawthorne and Poe wrote similarly in the aspect of genre and time; however, their stories differ drastically. Hawthorne focuses on symbolism and underlying messages within his story, whereas Poe tends to focus more on the characterization of his narrator through the use of tools such as irony and hyperbole. This demonstrates just how broad writing can truly be. Even though both of these stories were written in a similar time period and genre, they still have vast differences.
Sociopathic Killers in The Cask of Amontillado by E.A. Poe and Night of the Hunter by Charles Laughton
“The cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe and the Night of the Hunter directed by Charles Laughton both depict seemingly normal men who are, deep down, twisted sociopathic killers. These narratives depict the dark side of humanity and the frightening existence of evil in the world.
Both narratives employ the use of dramatic irony to create tension in the very beginning of the story. Montressor states, “You who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose however, that I gave utterance to a threat” (P.73). The reader is put in the uncomfortable situation of not only being privy to Fortunato’s fate but also through the use of the second person’s point of view of being addressed as if they were an associate of this disturbed narrator. Similarly Laughton depicts scenes where only the audience is aware of Powell’s true nature. For example, in one of the diner scenes, Pearl jumps on Powell’s lap and Laughton frames him with a low angle and side lighting. All the characters praise Powell as an upright man of God while the audience is left to squirm in their seats. Half of Powell’s face is in a shadow emphasizing his dark side and the low angle of the camera conveys his dominance.
Both narratives have the theme that appearances can be deceiving. Both Powell and Montressor are seen by the communities as honorable men, although they conceal their darker sides. In the case of Powell, he is a preacher, although he has a skewed perception on serving God and acts like killing others is particularly pleasing to God. Powell acts like killing people, especially someone you just married, stealing and trying to kill children is Godly. Montressor on the other hand is a rich nobleman and is seen as honorable by his community. An example of the theme of the narrative is when Montressor says, “My heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so. I hastened to make an end of my labor. This quote could be misconstrued as Montressor feeling bad for Fortunado, when in reality he is being sarcastic and it reinforces the theme of how appearances can be deceiving. Another example of how Montressor appears to be really interested in getting the opinion of Fortunato on his wine, which he says is a cask of Amontillado. In reality Montressor has ulterior motives and deceives Fortunato with his friendliness.
Both narratives use foreshadowing to give the reader a look into the potential events that could happen later in the story. An example of foreshadowing is a conversation Fortunato and Montressor have, “I drink”, he said “to the buried that repose around us.”, “And I to your long life.” The reader by this point, knows Montresor’s motives and he is giving Fortunato hints about his life ending. Another use of foreshadowing from the Cask of Amontillado is when Fortunato pierces a spear through a skeleton which is wearing clothing similar to his. He foreshadows his own death and how he will end up in the catacombs. A powerful example of foreshadowing from the Night of the Hunter is when Pearl and John are in a boat on the river and the scene transitions to an owl perching on a branch overlooking a rabbit, the owl flies down and preys on the rabbit which represents, Powell killing the children or stealing their money.
The resolutions of both stories are very different, although death is involved in the endings of both of the stories. In the case of the Cask of Amontillado, the resolution of the story is Montressor sealing in Fortunato for his slow death. He then says, “Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century, no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!” Which gives context on how old Montressor is and how long ago the events occurred as well as him not feeling any remorse for his actions. The resolution of the Night of the Hunter is when Powell is brought to justice because he murdered Willa Harper and others as well as attempting to kill Pearl and John in hopes of acquiring their hidden money. The children get to live with Rachael Cooper along with the children she has taken in and the ending is a happy one opposite of the negative ending of the Cask of Amontillado.
The Night of the Hunter and the Cask of Amontillado have been popular for the past century both stories convey the themes that you can’t trust anyone and that looks can be deceiving. Both stories portray the theme that looks can be incredibly deceiving as in the case of Powell, the preacher turns out to be a murderer! The use of lighting in the Night of the Hunter as well as the Cask of Amontillado was credibly thought out and is used in intriguing ways to convey feelings/emotions and even symbolism. In conclusion these were two great narratives that I’d recommend to anyone especially the film version of the Night of the Hunter.
Author’s Life And Experiences In The Cask Of Amontillado By Edgar Allen Poe
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe, is a very interesting short story about getting revenge for Fortunato’s insults towards Montresor. Montresor plots to kill Fortunato by his knowledge for wine to lure him to his death. When Montresor brings him into the catacombs underneath the carnival, he finally kills Fortunato by trapping him and entombing him alive. The story reflects on his life in some ways and the reasons for Poe writing this short story is intriguing to know.
This story is filled with irony and Montresor acts off of impulse and does not feel any remorse or regret from his actions. As Fortunato portrays the victim, he has an addiction to alcohol which impairs people’s judgment, causing him to be gullible which then leads to his death. In the story, Poe represents two different aspects of himself, one side of him is Montresor which represents evil and the other side which represents the victim, Fortunato. “Poe’s psychology is clearly known within both the narrator of the story as well as the victim in the story. For instance, Poe’s darker desires can easily be portrayed through the eyes of Montresor while Fortunato’s character reveals a sense of hopelessness and helplessness”. This being said, Poe’s life and experiences have a serious effect on both Montesor and Fortunato’s character psychologies.
While Edgar Allen Poe is not exactly like Montresor, it shows in the story that they are almost equal. While Poe was young, his mother died from tuberculosis and his father died from too much alcohol consumption. Poe was then adopted into a new family of John Allen’s. Him and his adoptive father would always argue over his gambling and alcohol addictions, which could have been the explanation for his problems with his father. Moreover, when he was attending school in Richmond, Poe happened to always be excluded from the activities his peers were in because of his mother who had little money from being an actress, could not provide enough for him. This made Poe feel very isolated which relates very well to “The Cask of Amontillado”. With Montresor killing Fortunato, this shows that Montresor was looking for some sort of closure, just as Poe is looking for it as well. Poe’s relation with Fortunato forms with the many deaths in his life that he has to deal with. With the deaths of his birth mother, adoptive mother and his numerous wives, it forces him to develop a form of paranoia of being alone. The quote “Fortunato in a sense, acts a shadow projection as he projects Poe’s innermost feelings of hopelessness and abandonment”, explains that Fortunato shows the same emotions as Poe does, showing a huge relation in character.
Another representation of his life would be from the quote “A. N. Stevens suggests that Poe first heard the anecdote on which he might have based this story when he was a private in the army in 1827”, this represents a story when Poe saw a gravestone of Lieutenant Massie who had been unfairly killed in a duel by Captain Green. His fellow officers decided to take revenge on him for killing Massie. They acted as if they were friendly towards Green as they kept giving him wine until he was extremely intoxicated. Then they carried the captain into a small opening that led into the dungeons. The people who captured him shackled him to the floor, then, using bricks and mortar, sealed him up alive inside. Captain Green had died an inhumane death in just a few days. This could have been an inspiration for the short story as well.
As a result of much writing about pain and misery, there’s no doubt about why this is one of his best works of literature to date. Each of the characters are filled with psychological concepts and hints of irony. Montresor is way more vulnerable than the average human being to give in to his own desires and temptations despite how wrong they might be. By utilizing psychoanalysis and biographical analysis, Poe’s audience is able to understand the connection between his life and “The Cask of Amontillado”. Furthermore, by reading this short story, readers are able to get a better understanding of Poe’s mindset along with the environment and time period that helped him write it.
The Use Of Symbolism And Irony In The Cask Of Amontillado By Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe’s use of symbolism and irony throughout the Cask of Amontillado makes the short story worthy of analysis. Poe utilizes these devices to create this cruel and powerful classic. The Cask of Amontillado is a horror short story that revolves around revenge and pride. There are two men in the plot: Montresor, an Italian aristocrat seeking revenge, and Fortunato, a proud man that brags about his wine expertise and who walks to his death. The definition of irony is words or events present a reality different from what is expected. The use of this device in the story adds humor and cleverness making the piece more refined.
The continuous use of irony is seen in Poe’s style, tone, and exaggeration of Montresor. We notice irony appear in the story from the beginning. The name Fortunato would suggest a man of good fortune, but the reality is that he is about to face the end of his road. The setting even has an ironic element.
The characters meet at the Carnival of Venice. The carnival is supposed to be a time of celebration. However, in the story, it is a time for vengeance and death. The atmosphere changes when the two characters leave the fun of the carnival for the musky catacombs beneath Montresor’s palazzo. Montresor says that when he first meets Fortunato, has been drinking and is dressed like a jester. Fortunato’s costume might suggest that he will be the one playing the fool.
On the other hand, Montresor is wearing a black cloak and has his face covered by a black mask. The black mask and outfit might symbolize Death or the devil. This may be foreshadowing the events that take place later in the catacombs. There is a clear presence of irony once the two go down into the catacombs. Montresor realizes that Fortunato has a harsh cold when they meet but makes a point of him looking very well. Montresor acts natural and friendly towards Fortunato, and even compliments his knowledge of wine.
Montresor starts manipulating Fortunato as soon as they meet. Montresor says that he needs Fortunato’s assistance to find out if the wine he purchased was Amontillado. Montresor then says that he will go to Luchresi since Fortunato is busy celebrating the carnival. Fortunato’s pride forces him to go with Montresor to the vaults, where the Amontillado is kept, to prove he is superior to Luchresi.
During their adventure into the catacombs, Montresor even gives Fortunato the chance to go back since Fortunato feels sick and the vault is filthy. The narrator (Montresor) seems to know that Fortunato is stubborn and is sure that Fortunato’s pride would not let him back down. So, Fortunato continues his journey to death on his own will. “The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with a note.”
“Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado!”. This is a memorable line in the story by Montresor. Fortunato responds saying, “I will not die of a cough”. Montresor then says, “True – true”. Also, the deceptive narrator toasts to Fortunato’s long life knowing the plan he had to take Fortunato’s life. More proof of ironic elements is found with Montresor as a Mason.
We assume this means he is a member of a group of men, but he is a stonemason whose job is to prepare and use stone for building. Montresor uses his skill as a mason to build up the wall that will trap Fortunato inside the niche. While Fortunato is trapped behind the wall, Montresor copies and yells louder than Fortunato to sympathize with him. It seems as though he is being ironic since he is pleased by what has done and only stops yelling when Fortunato goes silent. The story ends with Montresor’s words “In pace requiescat! (May he rest in peace)”. This line is undeniably sarcastic considering Montresor was the murderer and then dares to pray for Fortunato to rest in peace.
The story also has many examples of symbolism. These examples of symbolism are not apparent to the reader, therefore they are classified as reinforcing. The symbols start to become apparent after reading the story multiple times. The first example in the story was that Montresor’s costume is black, this would suggest that he would be playing the role of someone that is evil. The Montresor’s family crest may be the best example of symbolism and foreshadowing in the story: “A huge human foot door, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are embedded in the heel”. In the image, the foot symbolizes Montresor and the serpent symbolizes Fortunato.
Fortunato wronged Montresor and offended him and his ancestors. Although Fortunato hurt Montresor, the family crest suggests that Montresor will crush him. Montresor is determined to uphold his family’s motto: Nemo me immune la cesspit. The Latin translation is: No one can injure me with impunity. The narrator seeks his revenge to support this principle. Another example of symbolism is that the vaults at the end of the catacombs are piled with skeletons. The build-up of human remains may be an indication of human detriment. The dark and dampness that surrounds the characters are sensory images that help the reader visualize the set of horror and coming of tragedy.
Finally, the title of the story: The Cask of Amontillado, represents the inevitable death of Fortunato. Fortunato’s quest for the cask will end up being his own casket. The Cask of Amontillado is a carefully constructed short story. Poe’s imagination and creativity showed through this eerie tale. Every example of irony and symbolism Poe used contributed to an important effect: conducting his message in an original manner and not allowing the reader to stop.
The Utilization Of Incongruity In Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask Of Amontillado
It’s Edgar Allan Poe’s extraordinary utilization of incongruity all through The Cask of Amontillado that builds up the short story as a fascinating applicant deserving of careful examination. The capable utilization of the gadget is used by the creator to make this awful and intense perfect work of art. The utilization of incongruity in the story furnishes it with diversion and mind, and makes the piece more advanced. It’s identified through style, tone and the unmistakable utilization of embellishment of Montresor, the storyteller. From the earliest starting point the peruser can see the nebulous vision of incongruity in the story. The very name Fortunato would plainly infer this is a man of favorable luck, when the real case is that he is going to endure a for the most part awkward end.
The setting in which the story happens again demonstrates an unexpected component. It’s amid Venice’s Carnival that the characters meet. Jamboree should be a period of festivity and joy for everyone. Be that as it may, in the story it is a period for vengeance and passing. The climate changes definitely when the two heroes leave the jollity of fair for the bleak and devastate tombs underneath Montresor’s palazzo. The peruser gains from the storyteller that when he initially meets Fortunato has obviously been drinking and is wearing numerous hues, taking after an entertainer. His ensemble proposes that he will be the one playing the trick. Then again Montresor is wearing a dark hued shroud and has his face secured with a dark cover. The way the storyteller treats his adversary is one of the clearest cases for amusing components.
At the point when the characters meet, Montresor understands that Fortunato is distressed with an extreme chilly, all things considered he tries him looking ‘surprisingly well’. Montresor acts in the most regular and agreeable path towards the man protest of his retribution, and even acclaims his ‘friend’s’ learning in the subject of wines. Likewise upon their gathering, Montresor starts a mental control of Fortunato. He guarantees that he needs his insight to learn that the wine he has bought is in fact Amontillado. He recognizes that Fortunato is occupied with another business (the festival of the fair), so he would go to Luchresi, one’s identity, made to accept, is a contender of Fortunato’s. To these words, Fortunato is constrained by his pride to go with Montresor to the vaults (where the Amontillado is kept), disperse his questions and furthermore to demonstrate his higher status than Luchresi as an expert of wine. Truth be told, amid their way down under in the tombs, the bent personality of Montresor, sets out to allow Fortunato to backpedal, because of the relatively deplorable sogginess and indecency widespread in the vaults and Fortunato’s condition of wellbeing. The storyteller unmistakably thinks about the unyielding idea of Fortunato, and is sure that his pride would not enable him to withdraw. Along these lines, Fortunato proceeds with his excursion towards death by his own particular will. Noteworthy lines in the story are given by Montresor because of Fortunato saying, ‘I won’t kick the bucket of a hack.’ To what Montresor reacts, ‘Genuine – true…’ And then likewise when the deceptive storyteller toasts to Fortunato’s long life, definitely realizing that he was producing to results the evil made arrangement of retribution. Additional confirmation of amusing segments is found with Montresor as a ‘Mason’.
The peruser expects that this implies he is an individual from the recognized gathering of men, yet he really is a stonemason, somebody whose activity is to get ready and utilize stone for building. Montresor makes utilization of his ability as a bricklayer and also the trowel he had demonstrated his adversary to develop the divider that will bolt up disastrous Fortunato inside the specialty. At the point when Fortunato is caught behind the divider his vindicator constructed, Montresor re-echoes and even outperforms Fortunato’s hollering clearly to identify with the casualty. He’s clearly being amusing since he is really charmed by what he has done and just quits screaming till Fortunato is noiseless. The story closes with Montresor’s words ‘In pace requiescat!’ (May he rest in peace). His words are unmistakably wry: he has been the entertainer of the terrifying homicide, at that point how might he appeal to God for him to rest in peace?
The Cask of Amontillado is a deliberately created short story. The inventiveness and imaginative virtuoso of Poe floods through this odd story. Each attribute of incongruity Poe utilizes adds to a solitary and important impact: Conveying his message in an inventive and unique way, not enabling the peruser to stop.
Evaluation of the Role of Montresor in Edgar Allan Poe’s Story, The Cask of Amontillado
Movies based on murders are commonplace nowadays, with our society’s obsession with gory violence and sophisticated crimes. In a way we worship the likes of Hannibal Lecter, John Doe, and Norman Bates for their stories’ complex schemes, intense plots, and witty lines, leaving us yearning for more, wanting to see their next victim inhumanely treated and killed. All of these serial killers have psychopathic tendencies, killing out of pleasure and happiness. And we love it. The insanity of these perpetrators is our bait. At first glance of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,”the murderer Montresor seems to join the ranks amongst the most vicious criminals; however, once the adrenaline of the crime wears, the humane side of the Italian gentleman shows. He becomes ridden with guilt as any person with sympathy would. Because of this glimmer of the true Montresor, we as the readers do not get the effect of a horror story revolving around a psychopathic murderer, but rather a story with a moral: “Think before you do.”
Montresor’s murder conspiracy parallels that of one of the most popular and gory horror movies of all time Saw.In Saw, the Jigsaw Killer (the killer in the story) is a terminally ill brain cancer patient whose objective in the remainder of his life is to eradicate all wrongdoing in the world. In the movie, all of his victims are people he has personally had contact with, such as the protagonists: Adam and Dr. Gordon (the man who treated the Jigsaw Killer). Similarly, Fortunato and Montresor had been acquaintances for quite some time and that Fortunatohad committed “a thousand injuries” (Poe 62). In Saw the Jigsaw Killer chains the men in an unused bathroom with no chance of escape. The only way to survive is to follow his instructions closely and do everything he demands, including killing each other with poison and cutting their feet off in order to liberate themselves from the chain. In the “Cask of Amontillado,” Montresorvows a violent revenge upon his enemy saying, “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity” (62). The use of impunity implies that Montresor will carefully plan his act ensuring that he will remain safe and unscathed from the authorities. Montresor’s simple although effective plan ensues in the narration. He uses a cask of amontillado as his bait and lures a drunk and unwitting Fortunato. Fortunato, with his love of drink cannot refuse this offer and blindly follows his captor into the crypts deep beneath the surface.Eventually, Montresor finds a niche where he chains Fortunato and walls him in, similar to the bathroom in “Saw.” Similarly, the murders in both stories give their victims an opportunity to escape. The Jigsaw killer gives Dr. Gordon the option to kill Adam by 6 o’clock and he will be set free. Montresor repeatedly warns Fortunato the dangers of the cold and damp catacombs inferring that he may become ill. Fortunato, like Dr. Gordon, refuses these opportunities and thus allows the bloodshed to develop. The similarity between Saw and “Cask of Amontillado” are striking. Both share the same characteristics of a horror movie in which the antagonist grows close to the casualty, offering them salvation before the kill.
Despite the initial resemblance to Saw,the final of emotions of the killers are distinctly opposite. In the movie, the Jigsaw killer is calm and almost excited about killing the innocent people. In fact he had already committed several murders before the one of Adam and Dr. Gordon and continues to do so throughout the movie series. However, in the “Cask of Amontillado” a flicker of guilt is clearly seen in Montresor. Before laying the last brick of the wall to rest, Montresor cries out Fortunato’s name to no avail. He tries it again,
No answer. I called again—
No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick – on account of the Catacombs. (67-8)
It is clear to the reader that Montresor’s heart was not sick because of the Catacombs, but rather because he had realized the severity of his actions. The hesitation conveys a sense of self-reassurance of Montresor, who is telling himself that his actions were not horrific, but rather the setting was creating the nausea. Because of this guilt, “The Cask of Amontillado” cannot be classified in the genre of horror because the killer feels guilt in his murder. In reality, adrenaline drove Montresor to commit the crime, and unlike the Jigsaw Killer, he regretted his actions.
Since “The Cask of Amontillado” can no longer be classified as a horror movie,
due to the guilt of Montresor, the theme and genre of the story is drastically changed. Poe’s work now fits the blueprint of a parable, or a story with a moral. During Poe’s life, the Temperance Crusade was very popular. Its objective was to create an alcohol prohibition in the United States, and succeeded in doing so in the state of Maine. Poe’s intention could have been to warn the reader of the dangers of alcohol and the poor decisions associated with drinking. A drunken Fortunato was easily convinced to follow his captor baited by more alcohol. However, this does not explain the emotions of Montresor, which were so clearly present and strong. Instead, Poe was trying to reinforce an age-old moral: “think before you do.” One could argue that Montresor had precisely planned his scheme, and therefore he had thought carefully about his actions. However, this can be explained by the adrenaline. Adrenaline allows for excessive focus, energy, and excitement. Montresor was so overcome with adrenaline during his crime that he did not take into account the repercussions of his actions. Instead of Fortunato being blindly led by Montresor, it was in fact Montresor being blindly led by adrenaline. As Montresor lifted the final brick, preparing to seal the wall for eternity, he hesitated as he reflected on the situation. As he yelled out Fortunato’s name, the effect of adrenaline had ended and the proceeding actions were all results of conscious decisions. Realizing that he had come too far and there was no turning back, Montresor had no choice but to finish the wall and avoid being charged with crime. Thus, Edgar Allen Poe was not attempting to write a story that would scare the reader, but rather one that would impact their decisions.
Despite the similarities in the beginning with the movie “Saw,” “The Cask of Amontillado”lacks an antagonist that enjoys the act of murder in order to be classified as a horror or thriller movie like Saw. Instead it can be categorized as a parable, a story with a moral. Edgar Allen Poe wrote this story to remind the reader to always think before actually performing the action. In some scenarios adrenaline will override your decision-making much like alcohol would (a common problem at the time). The hormone adrenaline is often referred to as the “fight or flight” response, meaning it causes involuntary actions to occur without the brain having to process the stimulus. In this case, the adrenaline impaired Montresor’s ability to process his actions. Poe selects a different method of teaching; rather than simply stating his thesis, he tells us in a creative way. It is extraordinary how much situational factors impact our decision-making. It is important, as people, to be aware of our environment and that we do not put ourselves in situations in which our judgment may not be well advised.
Revenge And Mortality In The Cask Of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe is most known for his short stories containing the same gothic themes. In most of Poe’s stories all the characters sound alike but in The Cask of Amontillado Montresor is different and has his own voice. In the act of committing a crime, it is for certain the criminal will do anything to justify what they have done whether they are right or wrong. The Cask of Amontillado is the confession of a man whose thoughts are subject to mortality. The murderer, whose name is Montresor, is telling the confession fifty years later which shows that he is older. Montresor is approximately seventy to eighty years old when he is confessing to the murder. Since Montresor is now elder it is possible he feels a sense of guilt for murdering Fortunato. At this point in Montresor’s life, it can be inferred that he feels his justification for revenge is not valid. In The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor seeks revenge on Fortunato because he feels he has betrayed and insulted causing many emotional and mental injuries. Montresor planned a premeditated murder on his at-one-point friend because he felt required to do so. Montresor’s reasons for murdering Fortunato were never lawfully justified. Since there were never any legal actions, there is only Montresor’s point of view of the situation. Montresor took it upon himself to resolve the issues never giving Fortunato the opportunity to explain why he insulted him or the opportunity to apologize and make amends. In The Cask of Amontillado, Poe uses his perspective of revenge and mortality to show how individuals justify murder.
Throughout Poe’s life, he encountered many grueling things that influenced his style of writing. As a child, both of his parents died putting him with a foster family. After his foster mother died he was disowned by his foster father. Poe faced many issues with drinking making his financial situation more difficult than it already was. Poe needed a way to express his feelings so he used poetry but soon switched to short stories because they were in such high demand. It is known that his main reason for beginning to write like many others was because of his financial situation. Poe needed to financially support his Aunt and his cousin, Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, who would become his wife.
It’s easy to notice signs of possible depression from the themes of his tales and personal issues that he faced. Also, Poe’s affiliation with Freemasonry may be why he was so easily able to manipulate gothic effects in his works. During this time in American culture, Freemasonry seemed to be a prominent issue that most people today do not know about. Whether you were a mason or not during this time, you knew about it and without intention had some affiliation with it. It is not clear whether Poe was a mason or not but he made sure it was clear that Montresor stated he was during dialogue with Fortunato:
“You do not comprehend?” he said.
“Not I,” I replied.
“Then you are not of the brotherhood.”
“You are not of the masons.”
“Yes, yes,” I said; “yes, yes.” I said
‘You? Impossible! A mason?”
“A mason,” I replied.
“A sign,” he said.
It is this,” I answered, producing a trowel from beneath the folds of my roquelaire.
In this dialogue, Montresor not only says he is a mason but refers to it as a brotherhood. This brotherhood reference can mean that freemasonry feels like a brotherhood to Poe and he wants to indirectly inform people on it. Being that during this time it was not something that people were so easy to accept Freemasonry it is understandable as to why Poe would slip references about it in his work. This reference could be taken literally by the reader and could bring assumptions of Poe’s evolvement in Freemasonry. The way that Montresor murders Fortunato is an example of a Masonic ritual and could be his justified reasoning for his revenge.
The word mortality is defined as the state or condition of being subject to death. This tale showcases the theme of mortality because Montresor sought revenge on Fortunato. Elena V. Baraban refers to the murder as mediocre and states that Montresor’s elaboration on it was a sophisticated philosophy of revenge. Montresor felt that he had been insulted by Fortunato putting him in a position to murder him. The act of humiliation gave Montresor the motive to murder Fortunato and get the revenge he feels he deserves. Montresor says, “The thousands injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon result, I vowed revenge”. This quote is the opening of the tale and Poe is sure to make it so that the reader is immediately wondering what he has done and why. It is easy to infer Montresor feels that the revenge on Fortunato was caused by the thousands of injuries he received from him.
Montresor is showing signs of guilt by immediately explaining why he felt he had to get revenge on Fortunato. I believe that there is a possibility of mental issues or insanity in him. It is possible that the thousands of injuries from Fortunato were friendly jokes that Montresor took the wrong way. The carnival environment where this tale takes place could have influenced Fortunato to make the jokes about Montresor. The way it is projected in this story makes it seem that Montresor is being dramatic and misinterpreting what Fortunato meant. Perhaps all the injuries from Fortunato could have been solved in a different manner other than the act of mortality. Fortunato’s life was taken away from him for reasons that are unclear. The act of mortality was unfair in Fortunato’s favor because his murder was never legally justified.
When Montresor made the decision to murder Fortunato he made himself the court because he decided to handle the situation his own way. There is only Montresor’s explanation making the tale into a mystery with the question of “Who did it?” and “Why did he do it. Because there was no real evidence as to why Montresor made the decision to murder Fortunato, he just felt that was what he had to do. If this murder ever had that opportunity to go to trial all of Montresor’s reasoning would have not been proven as justified. Though the reasons Montresor presented for killing Fortunato were not valid he was sure to try and convince the reader that they were. In The Cask of Amontillado Montresor said, “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. Montresor wanted to punish with impunity in order to free himself from the thousands of injuries brought on by Fortunato. Montresor had waited fifty years to talk about what he has done which means instead of feeling impunity he has a guilty conscience. Montresor felt that this was something that must be done on behalf of him and his “fatherland”. Montresor is a part of a noble family, which means he holds certain responsibilities. He is showing a sense of patriotism to his homeland by feeling it was his responsibility to murder Fortunato. Since he has these responsibilities this revenge could have felt justified to him.
When someone has done what Montresor did they will do anything to convince themselves and others that it was able to be justified. It is almost impossible to establish what one feels when the thought of murder is on his mind. Every day people take their lives or the lives of others because of similar situations like Montresor’s. There is not really a logical reason but only a physiological reason for committing murder. In today’s court system with similar circumstances, the defendant would plead a state on insanity. Whatever Montresor felt his reasons were they were wrong and this crime was not justified.
By analyzing this tale the reader is able to see that Poe uses his perspective of revenge and mortality to show how individuals justify murder. In all of his characters and themes, Poe seems to base it on similar gothic details, but in this tale the character was different. Montresor changed and developed into an inhuman person or “mad man” because of the circumstances of the issues he faced. Poe went through many things in his life that influenced who he was and how he wrote. Although it is impossible to exactly know why Poe wrote the way he did it is easy to wonder why. In this tale, the act of mortality was simply based on revenge that Montresor felt must be done. Through all of the same aspects, Poe was able to express why revenge and Mortality were justified to a character who faced issues that he needed to overcome. The way Montresor felt he needed to be free of impunity, which was similar to Poe wanting to escape financial instability or his alcohol addiction. After analyzing all of Montresor’s reasonings, were the revenge and mortality justified?