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The Cask of Amontillado

Uploaded by thosser on May 08, 2001

Anything not taken in moderation can be damaging. In one of Edgar Allen Poe's best-known tales of horror, "The Cask of Amontillado," he suggests that pride can be a very dangerous thing, when one is overwhelmed with it. Through the use of foreshadowing, irony, and symbolism, Poe presents a horrific drama of two men. One who will stop at nothing to get the revenge that he deems himself and his family worthy of, and another who's pride will ultimately be the fall of his own death. Fortunato falls prey to Montressor's plans because he is so proud of his connoisseurship of wine, and it is for the sake of his own pride that Montressor takes revenge on Fortunato. Poe utilizes the theme of pride and many other literary techniques such as foreshadowing, revenge, and irony, in order to create a horrific and suspenseful masterpiece.

In "The Cask of Amontillado," Poe utilizes foreshadowing in a most grim and dark way. First, when Fortunato says, "I shall not die of a cough" 1, Montressor replies, "True-true"2. Instead, Montressor knows that Fortunato will perish from his vengeful scheme of walling him up, and having him die of starvation and dehydration. Fortunato is a proud man and he does not think that his death with be due to something as petty as a cold. Rather, he believes that his life will end as a result of some courageous act and he will die a noble death. However, Montressor can only laugh at this thought because he knows Fortunato's death will be far from noble and his pride will be broken when he is caught in his trap. Another instance of foreshadowing comes with the trowel scene. At one point in their journey, Fortunato makes a movement that is a secret sign of the Masons, an exclusive, fraternity-like organization. Montressor does not recognize this hand signal, but claims that he is a "mason". When Fortunato asks for proof, Montressor shows him his trowel. Montressor implies here he is a stonemason and, that he will be building things out of stones and mortar such as Fortunato's grave.

Irony is also used throughout this tale. The use of revenge in this story shows irony. Montressor avenges himself by fooling Fortunato into literally walking into his own grave. Fortunato pursues the "cask" which ends up being his own casket. Montressor even asks Fortunato repeatedly whether he would like...

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Uploaded by:   thosser

Date:   05/08/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (873 words)

Views:   1834

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