Character Analysis Of The Cask Of Amontillado

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“The Cask of Amontillado” is an interesting character sketch though it is best analyzed in terms of mood and setting. In some ways the characters are a bit flat but in many ways they explore multiple literary dimensions. Any analysis of Fortunato must begin with a look at his name. Fortunato means fortunate, however, it can hardly be argued that he is a very fortunate person, at least in the end. The irony here is doubtlessly not lost on the majority of readers and is just as doubtlessly intentional by Poe.

Early on within the short story, Poe deliberately explains to the reader that Fortunato takes extreme pride in himself on his connoisseurship in wine. The theme of having an overwhelming amount of self-pride, one of the seven deadly sins, is projected as a weakness of Fortunato which may lead to Forturnato’s own destruction. Fortunato Believes that his “connoisseurship in wine” is far more advance than anyone else in the area, especially Luchesi and Montresor. He states, “Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.” While certainly this remark is intended to be derisive, the fact that Amontillado is a type of Sherry could not escape Montresor. He is asserting that his knowledge has degrees of subtlety that go beyond the normal. Montresor, in fact agrees that Fortunato is a “virtuoso” when it comes to wine. Ultimately his pride and confidence in his own knowledge and experience bring Fortunato to his downfall. Given the knowledge that the reader understands
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