The Cask of Amontillado': The Hunger for Revenge and The Thirst for Wine

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Darkness and death are recurring themes in the works of Edgar Allan Poe. “The Cask of Amontillado” is not an exception. The title manages to deceit the reader with its vagueness, not only that but it also presents the nature of its characters and the plot. The crime of hatred is provoked by the Montresor’s utmost hunger for revenge, a character, who like the nature of the story’s title, hides his intention cleverly behind a mask of friendship and concern while his companion, ironically named Fortunato, falls into the trap, led by his thirst for wine. The first sentence sets the plot for the story. Montresor, also narrator of the story says: ”The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.” This part immediately reveals the feeling of the main character – his intention and the trigger for the crime. Montresor’s ego has been hurt constantly by this fellow Fortunato and it has now reached a critical point. To save his pride action was needed. He needed to punish this man. The narrator is also shown as a coward, who cannot stand up for himself. While not responding to the Fortunato’s multiple word attacks, he jumps to the other extreme – revenge. It is implied that he is not able to reply to the insult with another, thus he resorts to physical action – a sign of a weak mind. But revenge is not a sufficient payback for Montresor. “I must not only punish but punish with impunity.” The character would not face neither moral nor practical consequences for he finds his actions justified and necessary. Fortunato’s path to death is thoroughly planned and carefully implemented, step by step. In his eyes the revenge is how Fortunato pays his debt to him. However, Montresor does not simply want to murder his companion. Not only will he escape clean of his revenge, but he would also make his victim suffer, to feel

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