The Cask of Amontillado

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The Drama of Irony The Cask of Amontillado is a short story by Edgar Allen Poe. It is a somewhat eerie story about a man who commits a premeditated murder for the sake of revenge. The theme of murdering someone over an exaggerated grudge is what makes this story so compelling. In addition to the strong theme, Poe uses metaphors and irony to make a story that is profound and makes an impact on the reader. Poe creates a character that is not only insane enough to commit murder over an “insult” but he does so with a very warped state of mind. “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” The theme of this story is immediately established by the opening line. The theme is one of revenge, revenge over an insult. Montresor feels that he has been wronged by Fortunato; therefore he must have harsh vengeance in which his victim is aware of the punishment he is receiving (Womack). The revenge theme becomes even stronger with an interpretation of Montresor’s family crest. “Nemo me impune lacessit” or “No one assails me with impunity.” This motto is Montresor’s justification for killing Fortunato. It also reveals more about the theme to the reader. This is not just a tale of revenge, but revenge to an extreme. It is possible that Poe is trying to make an overstatement with the severity of Montresor’s revenge. Another underlying theme is the foolishness and deception of Fortunato. Fortunato was duped into his death because of his desire for the wine. He also continues to drink more alcohol allowing his level of intoxication and gullibility to increase. Had Fortunato remained more aware and less arrogant about his appreciation of good wine, he may have not been deceived into be buried alive. Upon a second reading of the story, the reader immediately picks up on the irony of the interactions
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