Revenge In The Cask of Amontillado

“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge” (1) is the opening line of this short story. In Edgar Allan Poe’s “A Cask of Amontillado” we learn of a man who seeks revenge on an old friend, a man who had insulted him. The story does not give details of what was said but the Narrator is determined on seeking revenge.

Throughout the story, reader is never told exactly what Fortunato did to deserve such vengeance on him. Is Montressor reliable? Is it possible that whatever crimes Fortunato is believed to have committed be imagined or exaggerated. One thing for sure is that Fortunado had no idea of Montressor’s anger. He is telling the story fifty years after it happened so it is possible that some of the details have not been remembered correctly.

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” is a frightening and disturbing short story about the consequences that result from persistent insults and an unforgiving soul. This is evident in the opening line when the narrator makes it obvious that the insult is what directly led to his unquenchable desire for revenge. If someone is so determined to get revenge, could he have done this before?. An important part of his revenge lies in maintaining the appearance of being innocent so that he is not charged with murder. In his eyes, if he was caught, the act of revenge would not have been a success.

The theme of revenge in the story is strong throughout. . Poe never explains why Montresor carries so much hatred and animosity toward Fortunato. This gives the story more suspense. And we are left to wonder why Montresor has so much hatred towards Fortunato. The story begins with Montresor explaining the he has been horribly insulted. In his revengeful mind, every time he sees a person who has wronged him, he acts as if there is nothing wrong and that he does not hold a grudge. But in reality we know Fortunato’s insult definitely was not forgotten. Montresor acts and lives his life as if there has been no wrong doing, while he plots a perfect act of revenge. . . “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. (2 ) Once all the details of his plan have been thought of, Montresor acts. He leads Fortunato away from the carnival and deep into the catacombs of his family estate. ,. Montresor’s idea is to plaster Fortunato into a brick sepulcher underneath the house. This act quickly becomes a reality. Once trapped, Fortunato was left to die. His tomb was left untouched for years to come.

He gets Fortunato to follow him by offering him some wine that is stored in the cellars beneath the house. The Narratorr has planned for this night down to every detail by sending his servants away to the carnival. The two men descend into the damp and dark vaults. Fortunado starts to cough. Montressor offers him some wine for a few reasons. First, he wants him to survive long enough for him to kill him. He does not want him to succumb to the dampness. Secondly, it is the lure of more wine that will convince Fortunado to continue following him. And third, if he continues to drink, perhaps he will not question what is happening to him.

There are a few symbols in this story that Edgar Allen Poe uses. The Cask of Amontillado is what Montressor uses to lure Fortunato to his death. … Amontillado is a wine and wine symbolizes pleasure. Fortunato is willing to travel through the dark and spooky catacombs to get what he wants. In the end, the wine betrays him and signals his death. Montressor uses the carnival to get Fortunato to his home. So while people are having fun, beneath the ground something sinister is happening below. .The story changes from a day of celebration to a day of murder. The dark, damp setting of catacombs signifies a place of death. This makes an ideal place to conceal a murder.
Throughout the story, reader is never told exactly what Fortunato did to deserve such vengeance on him. Is Montressor reliable? Is it possible that whatever crimes Fortunato is believed to have committed be imagined or exaggerated. One thing for sure is that Fortunado had no idea of Montressor’s anger. He is telling the story fifty years after it happened so it is possible that some of the details have not been remembered correctly.

Although this question is not clear, and not really answered by the end of the story, the reader, can only use their Imagination to conclude why he did what he did. Basically, a crime goes unpunished and there is no real explanation, except for what Montessor shares. He tells his story the way he wants’ us to know. He believes Fortunato deserves what he got. But is it really true? This story allows us to enter the mind of a murderer and his rationale for doing what he does. He may be telling the story out of guilt because it is 50 years later but we will never know. The crime would have been too fresh had he told it the morning after. By telling it 50 years later, most people who remember Fortunato would have forgotten or have died. Montressor could have been lving with this guilt all these years and haunted by Fortunado’s last words “For the Love of God, Montresor!” (24) is a cry for mercy and has probably haunted him all these years.

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