The Cask Of Amontillado By Edgar Allan Poe

1076 WordsNov 2, 20145 Pages
The short story, The Cask of Amontillado, written by Edgar Allan Poe is a story of terror and betrayal. Like many of Poe’s literary works, the story has a dark undertone with a theme of terror and depression. More than half a century ago, Marshall McLuhan argued that though Poe was fascinated by evil, the evil that he had in mind was not that of Calvinism, but that of the split man and the split civilization. In general, McLuhan was right, but in this instance Calvinism, and its God, provided a dark level of meaning to the tale. (Graham, 88) The threat of being buried alive is both a psychological fear and a historical reality that Edgar Allan Poe capitalizes on, ambiguously. The story begins with the narrator, Montresor, being insulted by Fortunato and plotting revenge for the act. Montresor decides to use Fortunato’s love of wine against him in his plan to get revenge. Montresor approaches Fortunato at a carnival, dressed in all black and hiding behind a mask. He offers Fortunato a drink that could pass as Amontillado, which is a type of Spanish wine. Fortunato is tricked into Montresor’s wine cellar, curious to taste the wine. Upon entering the cellar, Fortunato begins to cough, and steps on a serpent, crushing the head with his heel but does not want to leave. The implicit reference to Genesis 3:15 has been noticed by critics, who have been quick to see Montresor as the serpent; however, if Montresor is God 's agent (acting "for" his love), then he is not the serpent
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