The Casket Of Amontillado . Edgar Allan Poe’S “The Cask

1680 WordsMay 9, 20177 Pages
The Casket of Amontillado Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” is a short story illustrating how pride leads to the downfall of two men. At the story’s heart is the tale of Montresor, the protagonist, getting revenge on a former friend, Fortunato. Poe’s characterization of Montresor shows a sinister, proud man, obsessed not only with his revenge but also not getting punished himself. “It must be a perfect revenge, one in which Fortunato will know fully what is happening to him and in which Montresor will be forever undetected” (Morsberger 334). Poe’s portrayal of Montresor and his revenge depends mainly on his use of three artistic tools: a first-person narrative, dramatic irony, and symbolism. A brief examination of these three…show more content…
At the carnival, when Montresor meets Fortunato and tells him about the amontillado, he states, “As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi,” referring to Fortunato being inebriated. Fortunato insists that, “Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry” (Poe 361). “Knowing his victim’s vanity, Montresor baits him by saying that some fools argue that Luchresi’s taste is as fine as Fortunato’s” (Morsberger 334). The use of the first-person narrative lets Poe change how readers view the characters. By telling the story through Montresor’s point of view, readers never get the chance to hear Fortunato’s side of the story, meaning one never discovers if Fortunato truly wronged Montresor. This prevents the reader from having sympathy for either character. Charles May says, “The reader has no way of knowing what these ‘thousand injuries’ and the mysterious insult are and thus can make no judgement about whether Montresor’s revenge is justifiable” (qtd. in Baraban para. 6). Third, and perhaps most importantly, the first-person point of view lets the reader know ahead of time about Montresor’s plan for revenge, setting up the use of irony in the story. A second tool Poe used in “The Cask of Amontillado” is dramatic irony. Poe used irony multiple times in this story, largely due to using the first-person narrator. A “major plot dynamic of Poe’s great story” is “Montresor’s menacing irony, and
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