The Cask Of Amontillado

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To take revenge is often to sacrifice one self’s soul: Revenge and Irony in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe Since the beginning of time, man has had an appetite to inflict punishment on perceived personal injuries, insults or betrayals. Victims often blur the lines between revenge and justice. It is rare that a story of revenge concludes with a happy ending. In the story, “The Cask of Amontillado,” Edgar Allen Poe utilizes situation, dramatic and verbal irony to demonstrate that revenge is not always rewarding for the avenger. In most cases revenge turns the avenger into the avenged; acts of deception consume ones soul leaving no room for justice. Montresor seems to be avenged [because of an unnamed insult] by cleverly leading Fortunato through the catacombs to his premeditated demise. Poe’s use of dramatic irony leaves one to believe that Fortunato exacts the last revenge by burdening Montresor with a haunting guilt that Montresor carries for more than 50 years. Poe’s use of situational irony leaves the reader asking if to take revenge is to often sacrifice one self’s soul. The opening paragraph in this story loosely defines why Montresor seeks revenge and what he views as revenge. Montresor says, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge” (107). Franckowiak 2 The narrator is not clear on what Fortunato said or did to warrant such contempt. However, Montresor is very clear in his intent in paying Fortunato back. Montresor’s declaration of revenge is definite and seems warranted as all vengeance appears to be on the surface. As Montresor works his way through the cold, dark catacombs cleverly leading Fortunato to his demise the reader

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