The Cask of Amontillado Essay

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The Cask of Amontillado Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 335

  • Pages: 1

The Cask of Amontillado

1. How does the author want the reader to feel while reading “The Cask of Amontillado”? I think the author wants the readers to feel suspense and anxious to know what’s going to happen next. I felt anxious trying to figure what Montresor was going to do to Fortunato, I didn’t expect him to intoxicate him with wine and basically bury him alive.

2. What techniques does the author use to help you visualize the place, the people, and the events that are taking place within the story? The author describes everything very well. He describes what Fortunato is wearing, he describes the vaults and what is inside and around them, the stench inside the vaults, and he uses many adjectives and uses imagery.

3. How has the author described the characters to make them seem like real people? Throughout the short story the author describes what they are wearing and how they are feeling.

4. Does the author expect the reader to make an emotional connection to the story? Explain your answer. I don’t think so, I could never give someone revenge just because they have been insulting me for so long. But I think if you have had previous bullying of such kind then you would want revenge. Towards the end though I did have an emotional connection because Montresor felt guilty of what he was doing to Fortunato and I felt bad for Fortunato as well.

5. Think back to the events that take place in “The Cask of Amontillado,” and think about the attitudes and actions of the characters. Now, write a theme statement for “The Cask of Amontillado.” I think that a good theme statement would be that revenge is not always the right way to handle things. Because Montresor was killing his friend, he felt guilt.

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The Cask of Amontillado Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 967

  • Pages: 4

The Cask of Amontillado

Pride is defined as an opinion on oneself that is too high. It could also be a dignity or self-respect. And it is also the reason why Montressor murdered Fortunato in the short story “The Cask of Amontillado”. The story is written by Edgar Allan Poe. It is about Montressor who seeks revenge for Fortunato just because of an insult. He uses the weak point of Fortunato i. e. Fortunato prided himself on his knowledge and good taste of wine. With that, Montressor uses Amontillado as bait so that Fortunato will go with him on his catacombs.

At the end, Montressor is successful in having revenge. Through these actions of the characters, we can say that the main theme of the story is that pride will ruin a man’s life. It is pride that drives Montressor to vow revenge just because of an insult. As stated in the lines ” The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best as I could but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge”, we could noticed this pride in the personality of Montressor.

He doesn’t want that anyone could put him down because he would appear to be weak and superior, so he plans his revenge carefully. Montressor’s description of the coat of arms of his family wherein the shield features a human foot crushing a serpent with a family motto ” Nemo me impune lacessit,’ which means “No one may insult me with impunity” relates with it his great desire for revenge. That is the reason why his decision or plan for killing Fortunato is firm.

He never changes his mind from the moment they entered in the catacombs until he had murdered Fortunato. Montressor’s pride and beliefs really lead him to be immoral. Fortunato died because of his pride on his connoisseurship in wine. Montressor knows the weak point of Fortunato, that is, his connoisseurship in wine. Montressor uses the Amontillado as bait so that his plan of revenge will be successful. He even teases Fortunato that he had a plan of letting Luchesi to taste the wine to insure that Fortunato will really do everything to taste the Amontillado.

Successfully, Fortunato goes with Montressor – little does he know that he was going to his grave because of his pride on his connoisseurship in wine. The pride of Montressor and Fortunato leads them to a terrible moment – Fortunato’s death. It is pride that keeps Fortunato to insist on going back. We can notice it several times in the story. One scene is that when Fortunato insists “Enough. The cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of cough”.

The same thing happens every time Montressor tricks him to go back out of the catacombs. But Fortunato keeps insisting because of his pride until he was murdered. At the moment Montressor is putting the last pile of stone, he doesn’t feel pity to his friend of Fortunato because of this great desire for revenge. And it is because of pride. Therefore, it is pride that ruins their lives. For Montressor, he even brags after 50 years that he had killed Fortunato just because of an insult. He wants to inform everybody that his revenge was successful.

He did not realize that this pride of him make him an evil and immoral. For Fortunato, his pride leads him to his grave. Because of this pride, he did not notice that Montressor will kill him even if it somewhat being foreshadowed by Montressor. He did not feel guilty when he had insulted Montressor because he was blinded by his pride. Montressor confesses after fifty years after the horrific event happened; with that significant passage of time between the events and the narration of the events make the narrative unreliable.

Moreover, Montressor is punishing without stating what the insult is makes him more unreliable. And it results to different interpretation by different readers. After considering some negative quality of the story, we can say that we like the story. The structure of the story is different. The setting at first was at the carnival, which symbolizes freedom then the author progressed the story in such a way that as Fortunato and Montressor travel farther away from fresh air, they are also moving away in the freedom. It is very nice.

Also, the foreshadowing technique utilized by the author build suspense in the story especially that it happens in a catacomb and story is all about murdering. As we go along with the story, because of this foreshadowing technique, we somewhat have the strong feelings to inform Fortunato that Montressor is planning to kill him. Indeed, foreshadowing technique really builds suspense in the story. Moreover, the story teaches lesson to the readers. One lesson is that, we should be careful of what we are saying and be sensitive enough to the feelings of other people.

Or else, we might end up buried alive. Next lesson is that addiction to something will cause trouble in our life as what happened to Fortunato. His addiction to wine was used by Montressor as Fortunato’s weakness and used Amontillado as bait. Lastly, we should learn weigh things and do not let pride drive our life. That murder would not have happened if Montressor tries to confront Fortunato and tell what he feels toward Fortunato. Therefore, literature is really for entertainment and instruction.

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The Cask of Amontillado Essay

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The Cask of Amontillado Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 366

  • Pages: 1

The Cask of Amontillado

In Edgar Allan Poe’s horrific tale of “The Cask of Amontillado” readers witness a journey of two people wondering through an underground graveyard leading to a tragic and twisted end. Most readers assume that the character of Montresor is a male figure. All of the actions of Montresor, throughout the course of the story, are full capabilities of a woman. It could be possible that our two characters had a love affair before our gruesome tale plays out.

Let us say that Montresor is a mistress of Fortunado. He insults her in front of another man, couple, or lover publicly; as it is never said what the insult is specifically. Upon this insult Montresor, our female character, is so enraged with adrenaline and emotion that she plots a plan to show Fortunado that she is a force to be reckoned with. While the adrenaline pulses through her veins she disassembles the wall with ease and preps it for the demise of the unsuspecting enemy.

As most have heard or witnessed in everyday life, powerful surges of adrenaline can cause people to do tasks they normally would have no strength to accomplish. As she lures our ironically unfortunate Fortunado through the musty, damp tunnel of underground, she taunts him. Or could this be her feminine compassion coming to the surface of the reality that is to be Fortunado’s fate? As she continues to suggest turning around on the journey, she comforts him and his cold as though she could be having second thoughts.

Montresor has a compassionate heart and conscious. A man would rarely show these traits. Finally, she has him right where she wants the insulting character. The taste of revenge returns. She remembers why she has brought our victim to his bone chilling demise. She replays the time or countless times that Fortunado has insulted her publicly and she shows him what he deserves. Bone by bone, she finds pleasurable satisfaction in her plan. As the saying goes, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

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The Cask of Amontillado Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 664

  • Pages: 3

The Cask of Amontillado

Every once in a while, people feel the need to have some excitement or thrill in their lives. It seems that some people enjoy being scared. The easiest way to satisfy this need is through entertainment; one could easily go to a movie theater, rent a video or download a movie to instantly get a dose of horror. In fact, movies about ghosts, monsters, aliens, and other scary entities often prove successful in the box office. However, if one feels the need to experience horror and fear, one need not look farther than man himself. The evil tendencies of man are much more fearful than any creature formed by the imagination.

The Cask of Amontillado is one of the finest gems in world literature. Written by Edgar Allan Poe, this story shows the strength of human emotion, and the actions that result from it. It reveals the extent of human anger, and how such emotion could move someone to cause harm to another. This story reminded me of the evil that resides in every man. This reminder proved more fearful than all the horror movies ever created; this is because each and every person could experience this emotion, and if left uncontrolled, could unleash one’s evil side.

Anger can be an overpowering emotion. When someone has done something inappropriate towards us, we are overcome with anger. At times, we forgive that person and forget the said incident. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said to every person. There are those who hold grudges, and the anger eventually takes over their lives and results in fatal consequences. In the story, Montresor speaks of the wrong doings of Fortunato towards him. This made Montresor hold a grudge, and plan for his revenge.

The “injuries” and most specially the “insult” that prompted Montresor to punish Fortunato are not identified, but the readers could at least determine how grave those were as it drove Montresor to such a drastic measure. A man who commits pre-meditated murder for revenge must really be affected by the other’s actions. The story changed me in the sense that I have assumed a more cautious stance toward life. I have been reminded that my actions could offend others, whether it was intentional or not. There could be people who are angry with me, and I am unaware of the extent of their anger. I could already be in danger without even knowing it.

Therefore, I will try to be mindful of my actions at all times. I cannot please each and everybody, but that does not mean I should not be careful of my actions. The story also gave me a different perspective with regards to how the human mind thinks. Humans are the most intelligent beings in the animal kingdom. The operations of the mind are indeed complex, and evoke a great sense of wonder as to how it actually works. However, the intelligence can also be used for evil. In the story, Montresor was smart, and he had a well-planned strategy for Fortunato. Montresor took advantage of the man’s love for wines and used the beverage as bait.

Even the attendants at his home were instructed as to allow him to carry out his plan. Montresor feigned concern about Fortunato’s health, and even worked on his pride by mentioning Luchesi and asking for his help instead. In the end, Montresor successfully entombed Fortunato. Human realities are much frightening than any of the monsters and demons created by the imagination. Man has a capacity for evil, and emotions such as anger can bring it to the fore. The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe offers horror of a different kind, much more frightful than those portrayed on television and movie screens.

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The Cask of Amontillado Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 288

  • Pages: 1

The Cask of Amontillado

What can the reader infer about Montresor’s social position and character from hints in the text? What evidence does the text provide that Montresor is an unreliable narrator? Montresor indulges in large quantities of Italian Vintages, resides with attendants in large suites with archways which lead into vaults which are extensive. The Montresor’s have their own family arms and motto. These are all indications that Montresor is wealthy and of an upper social class.

From the very first paragraph, where Montresor vowed revenge, it is apparent that his character would not be made a fool of nor be taken advantage of. As the story is told you see just how calculated and planned out Montresor’s actions are. Evidence of the unreliability of Montresor as a narrator is revealed when Fortunato acknowledges he is of the Mason’s and asks Montesor if he too is a Mason. Montresor tries to convince Fortunato that he is a Mason however it is apparent that he is lying; this may give way to doubting what other memories and tales Montresor has held with expectations of revenge.

As Montresor was about to complete the wall he was erecting, sealing Fortunato into a recess of the catacombs, he makes reference that it was the dampness of the catacombs making his heart grow sick. This implies that Montresor may be out of his mind or crazy, where he actually is a cold blooded murderer. He has taken the family motto “Nemo me impune lacessit,” Latin for “No one provokes me without punishment,” literally with the actions he bored.

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The Cask of Amontillado Essay

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 731

  • Pages: 3

The Cask of Amontillado

This tale by Edgar Allan Poe is not only about revenge but betrayal. The narrator, otherwise known as Montresor, tells the reader the tale of him, 50 years before, getting revenge on an old friend named Fortunato who had done him wrong in some unknown way. Within this short story, Poe uses many examples of black humor and irony. Poe uses Fortunato’s name symbolically, as an ironic device. Though his name means “the fortunate one” in Italian, Fortunato meets an unfortunate fate as the victim of Montresor’s revenge. Fortunato adds to the irony of his name by wearing the costume of a court jester.

While Fortunato plays in jest, Montresor sets out to fool him, with murderous results. In The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor does the reverse, readying himself to commit the crime by equating himself with an animal. In killing Fortunato, he cites his family arms, a serpent with its fangs in the heel of a foot stepping on it, and motto, which is translated “no one harms me with impunity. ” Fortunato, whose insult has spurred Montresor to revenge, becomes the man whose foot harms the snake Montresor and is punished with a lethal bite.

A very good example of humor can be found at the very beginning of the story itself: Montresor had “vowed revenge” against Fortunato. But he decided to mask his real feelings by outwardly appearing friendly towards him – “I continued as was my wont, to smile in his face. ” This grim irony of situation results in harsh ‘black humor’ with Montresor remarking sarcastically, “It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much.

The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him, that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand. ” Also, Montresor, though not trying to be, is a bit funny at times. He leads Fortunato through the house, which is empty. Normally, the house would have been full of servants, and hence witnesses to the fact that he was leading Fortunato down to the catacombs. How did he get them to leave? He knew their natures well.

He states, “I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient; I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned. ” This is a rather amusing commentary on the situation at hand. Tell the servants they’d better not leave, which ensured their departure. In addition to witty remarks like this, Montresor’s very intensity is a bit funny, also in a sad sarcastic sort of way.

He can’t have revenge, he must “punish with impunity. ” And, how dare Fortunato “insult” him!! The audacity! Of course the only conclusion to draw is that Fortunato must die a slow, painful, terrifying death. Yes, that’s what a sane human being would conclude…. Montresor is so extreme in his hatred and avowal of revenge that it is almost ridiculous. The reader very much so could lose insight of what the theme of the short story is meant to be seen as, while reading it.

As a reader, it would be seen as revenge, but in reality, Montresor felt betrayed and thought the only things he could do was kill him in a slow and painful way. The course of events has haunted him for the last 50 years, and in turn made him feel bad for what he had done, and you learn that near the end of the story, where you also learn he seems like he’s talking to an unknown character. Edgar Allan Poe has an eerie way of showing the context of the past event but if read and looked over, the reader could understand it’s theme well.

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