Essay: An Apparent Friend

In “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, Fortunato is secretly planning revenge on a apparent friend. In the beginning Montresor seems friendly with Fortunato, but deep down he feels nothing but hatred for him. Could Montresor have a feeling of repulsion that only Montresor understands? Both of these men are wealthy, yet both have downfalls that will lead to a hopeless ending. Although the two men have differences, they both want the same thing. Edgar Allen Poe has a strong way of reproducing great elements in the story, the theme of deception and revenge is justified.

“The Thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge” (Poe 1). The first sentence explains the theme of revenge that is present throughout the story. One example that reinforces this occurs when Montresor tells Fortunato about the wine he has recently purchased. Fortunato’s surprised replication is not obligatorily directed towards Montresor, as he believes it is, but at the conception that the wine has been bought in the midst of a carnival. However, Montresor takes this as yet another insult to himself, reassuring himself that the planning for revenge is probable. In order to accomplish his revenge, Montresor will utilize deception. He smiles at Fortunato although his intentions are maleficent, and he has plans of elimination. Montresor uses Luchresi in order to play with Fortunato’s head. The man with knowledge of wine, will have to follow him to prove that he is a better pick. Montresor does not care about Fortunato or his health, yet, ironically, he verbalizes in a compassionate and concerning manner towards Fortunato.

In “The Cask of Amontillado” irony, both dramatic and verbal, is present. Two prime examples of dramatic irony occurs when Montresor approaches Fortunato, who is intoxicated during the evening of the carnival. Montresor blissfully capitalizes on his friend’s state. Integrating to the dramatic effect, Poe names the character Fortunato, which designates, one of great fortune. The irony becomes apparent when Fortunato’s unfortunate fate is revealed. Poe’s ingenious utilization of verbal irony is witnessed in a memorable moment in the story, Montresor suggests to his friend that he should head home due to his cough, Fortunato’s responds “I shall not die of a cough.” Montresor’s knowingly replies, true —true.” (Poe 3). In another utilization of verbal irony, Fortunato utilizes the word “Ignoramus” to describe Luchresi; however, it is he who is indeed unaware of what is transpiring around him, and what is going to transpire to him. Montresor has provided Fortunato numerous times with the liberation to go; however, due to his intoxication, Fortunato fails to optically discern the designations Montresor has provided for him.

Poe’s utilization of symbols in “The Cask of Amontillado” is apparent with Montresor’s crest, which portray a serpent biting the heel of the human stepping on it. The crest can be considered to represent the relationship between Montresor and Fortunato. Albeit the serpent is being stepped on, it is the serpent that will eventually cause harm. In advisement, the motto on the crest, which reads, “Nemo me impune laccessit.” (Poe 4) reinforces that those who insult him will pay. The Cask indicates the container in which wine is stored, and Amontillado is a wine that Fortunato is longing to taste. Due to Fortunato’s curiosity, he culminates up in the place where his body will be stored in a cask made especially for him. The Amontillado has a concrete symbolic meaning for Montresor, prosperity. By him mentioning the Amontillado, he was prosperous in capturing Fortunato, and carrying out his orchestration of revenge towards the man who he believes has railed against him.

Montresor has determinately been avenged; however, after fifty years, he is unable to relinquish the spirit of Fortunato. His confessional proves the logic that, although he was prosperous with his orchestration for revenge, he has not been able to live in peace. The theme of “The Cask of Amontillado” is that of revenge and the apostatizing way one man will accomplish his goal. Poe’s use of irony and humor integrates to the gloom of the storyline. Montresor, kens that if he does not go through with the elimination of Fortunato, he has not thoroughly repaid himself or his family. Montresor plans Fortunato’s demise through the elimination of a symbolic figure, a cask of wine. Sadly, in the end, the cask indicate the place where Fortunato’s body will repose. Poe does an excellent job of conveying the theme of the story, and bringing forth distinctive examples of literary elements that are betokened for gothic fiction.

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