Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado Your Name Student Number Course Number Due Date Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado The most significant aspect about the narrative of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado is the fact that the story is told from the perspective of the murderer, Montresor…
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Montresor avenges some unspecified insult inflicted on him by Fortunato and thus buries him alive. Significantly, the cause for the murder is rendered insignificant and the maneuvers and the actual execution of murder gain prominence in the story. The paradigm of sacrifice enters the story in the instance where Montresor warns Fortunato against staying in the damp catacombs for the latter seems to have a cough. Fortunato’s reply that a cough shall not kill him compounds the irony in the story and anticipates his predicament. However, it also highlights a kind of unstated willingness on Fortunato’s part in the scheme planned by Montresor. There is a suggestion that Fortunato may have subconsciously accepted the fate which awaited him. It is here that the numerous parallels between Fortunato’s murder and Christ’s crucifixion enter the story. The theme of revenge drives the plot of the story. The metaphor which encapsulates this theme is the motto on Montresor’s family coat of arms which proclaims Nemo me impune lacessit ("No one insults me with impunity") (Poe, 99). The symbol which shows a foot crushing a snake while the snake’s fangs are set in the foot is reminiscent of Christian theology. The snake is often identified with the Adversary or Satan and thus represents the figure of the avenger in Montresor. Montresor can also be said to be reminiscent of Judas, Jesus’ friend who betrayed him. Fortunato’s meek submission to his fate and the heinous manner in which he was killed, coupled with his last words "For the love of God, Montresor!" (Poe, 101) yet again emphasize the theological underpinnings of the story. The unmistakable parallels between Christ’s death and Fortunato’s murder are seen also in the fact that Montresor kills Fortunato in the catacombs which are hallowed spaces. The very name Fortunato which means ‘fortunate or blessed’ seems to be ironic. Despite the many similarities in their predicaments, Fortunato unlike Christ lies in a desolate tomb, unknown to the world, without having accomplished much for the greater good of mankind. The many points of confluence and departure between Christ and Fortunato perhaps constitute a certain existential questioning that the story brings about regarding the place of virtue and sacrifice in the modern world. This rendition of Fortunato as a modern, albeit ironic adaptation of Christ is done by keeping the original insult inflicted on Montresor deliberately ambiguous. The fact that much of our understanding of the story is mediated by Montresor’s subjective opinion brings about a significant subversion of conventional spiritual or theological narratives in which the murderer or the sinner is seldom given a chance to express himself. It may be well said that journey undertaken by Montresor and Fortunato to the wine cellars and ultimately to the catacombs assumes the character of a pilgrimage. The ironic reversal however lies in the fact that the journey is made for the precious Amontillado and not for any ostensible spiritual quest. The murder of Fortunato further subverts the motif of the pilgrimage and conjures the image of aborted spiritual endeavors in the modern world. The spatial and temporal settings of Poe’s story significantly shape its thematic concerns. It is important to note that the story is set in an indeterminate year in Italy during the carnival of Mardi Gras. In
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Largely ignored during his lifetime, the works of Edgar Allan Poe continue on as masterpieces of the short story genre more than a hundred years since their publication. Poe was a pioneer of modern psychological fiction, detective stories, and science fiction. As a result, his “stories appear astonishingly modern to the contemporary reader”
According to the research findings, use of central narration indicates that the story revolves around the inner terror and the innate evil that exists in people. Use of first-person narration is related to the idea that telling the story from the victim’s perspective would not portray the memorable qualities to the readers’ attention.
In fact Poe perhaps is the first great writer to deal with many of the issues of the unconscious, the subconscious, and the dark forces of the Id that were later exposed by such great writers as Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Jules Verne in the 19th century, and such writers as Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Steven King, and Joyce Carol Oates, and the film maker David Cronenberg in the 20th century.
Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" is recognized as one of his most well-known literary contributions because of its intricate and complicated plot of murder. The story relates Montressor's clever plan of murdering his unsuspecting victim Fortunato as his reasonable revenge for the insults he received.
Thesis In this short story, the role of narrator is crucial, still there are some facts which make his narration unreliable.
Montresor, the protagonist of the short story, an aristocrat who values honour and his good name above all. He insists that he has been insulted by Fortunato, and wants to take revenge upon him.
Poe contrasts this with the concept that family always leads to loss and the incapability of holding onto the family unit. The presentation that Poe gives about the family ultimately leads to the idea of loss and death of the family. The loss and death of the family is one that Poe describes not only with death, but also how this leads to bondage.
The story is of an intricate design, told by the use of a fanciful language and set in an underground Italian cemetery. Suffice to say, the Cask of Amontillado is a journey into the strange and sinister recesses of the human mind.
Montresor, who holds a grudge against
The author has given each character the roles that fit them well through out the poem.
Fortunate as one of the character seems to be a doubter as though he had not be given any word or deed to doubt the good will presented to him he still
Sometimes these evil designs make the culprit commit some heinous crimes such as murder. Such instances of abnormal behavior are the popular subject of story writers who try to explore the sources of evil in the inner recesses of human mind
When evil is put in disguise, one is able to optimize on one’s evilness and the sense of achievement is enhanced. Montresor might not have been as prudent in his plotting against Fortnato had he been straight forward in his approach and transparent in his intentions.
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