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The Cask of Amontillado1

Mystery, Irony, and Imagery “The Cask of Amontillado” is one of Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest stories. In this story Poe introduces two central characters and unfolds a tale of horror and perversion. Montresor, the narrator, and Fortunato, one of Montresor’s friends, are doomed to the fate of their actions and will pay the price for their pride and jealousy. One pays the price with his life and the other pays the price with living with regret for the rest of his life. Poe uses mystery, irony, and imagery to create a horrifying, deceptive, and perverse story. Hoping to obtain revenge, Montresor, the narrator, lures Fortunato, one of his friends, into the depths of his catacombs to be murdered. Montresor says, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge”(149). This is the first line in the story, and this is why Montresor seeks revenge. There is no explanation of the insults that Montresor received, so the reader may infer that Montresor is just lying. The insults that were received could possibly be just outdoing in the business arena. Montresor might be using that excuse for his desire to kill Fortunato, because he may be killing Fortunato out of jealousy. Montresor is likely telling this story to a family member, friend, or his doctor while lying on his deathbed. Montresor says, “…your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter.”(150). Montresor just admitted that he knows Fortunato is better than he. Montresor may have been under the influence of jealousy. Redd 4 There are different theories to why Fortunato is lured down into the catacombs. Bonaparte states, “Fortunato, his curiosity and thirst both aroused, presses to be allowed to taste the wine, despite Montresor’s feigned opposition, intended to w...

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