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Revenge: A Bittersweet Victory Essay

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This story of the most heinous revenge is, like all stories by Edgar Allen Poe, very open to interpretation. One thing that cannot be disputed, though, is the theme. The fundamental theme of The Cask of Amontillado is revenge. While the reasons the main character, Montresor, desires revenge are rather unclear, the reasons for his motivation are not. The way he executes his plans also exemplifies a clever use of deception to amplify his vengeance. Unfortunately, though, the aftermath of his actions proved far less gratifying than what he foresaw. These elements of revenge consume this story in the usual vague and mysterious manner which we so often see with Poe. Because this story is told in first person perspective from Montresor’s…show more content…
This message is also conveyed through the Montresor family crest, which shows a snake biting the very foot that is crushing it. The snake in this case, is Montresor, who does not let his attacker get away with the attack. Overall, Montresor’s craving for vengeance is derived from the pride he feels for his family. Montresor satisfied these cravings by plotting and executing the perfect revenge. The reason Montresor killed Fortunato in the catacombs was because of his intense family pride. Because in Montresor’s mind Fortunato had insulted his family, he saw the catacombs as the perfect place to kill him so they could, in a sense, witness the event. That way his actions avenge them as well as himself. As to the reason for the method of live entrapment he used to kill Fortunato, it comes not from Montresor, but instead from the author himself. During the time Poe published this story, the fear of being buried alive was very real among the masses. In fact, some cemeteries would place bells on the limbs of the recently deceased, so if they were accidentally buried alive, they would have a chance to be rescued. This has a very strong connection to the story because the last sound Montresor hears coming from Fortunato’s tomb is the bells on his hat jingling. From this information we can infer that Poe shared the popular fear and felt that is was one of the worst things that could happen to a person, making it the perfect method
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