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Leduar Diaz Dr. Green COM 1102 January 29, 2023 The Cask of Amontillado Edgar Allan Poe wrote "The Cask of Amontillado," a short story first released in 1846 about a man named Montresor who talks about getting even with his friend Fortunato after he gave him "a thousand injuries." Edgar Allen Poe was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic who is most known for his short stories and poetry, especially his macabre and mystery-themed works. "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allen Poe is one of those short stories; he foreshadows the ending using numerous instances of dramatic, verbal, and situational irony and demonstrates a theme of ambivalence, substance abuse, and self-delusion. For instance, one character's name is Fortunado, meaning "the fortunate one" or "lucky." Montresor, the main character, name means "my treasure," so we can see his good name is precious to him, and Fortunato has somehow offended him. In the story, Edgar Allen Poe never precisely said what Fortunato was supposed to have said or done to provoke Montresor into wanting to inflict a horrific, homicidal retaliation against him. However, Montresor interpreted whatever was an insult to his family name. Poe states Montresor's anger with Fortunado at the story's beginning when he writes, "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge." (p481). Edgar Allen Poe used foreshadowing when giving Fortunado his name, as he is everything but fortunate since the reader is aware further into the reading that Montresor already had a devious plan for revenge. Poe further writes, "I must not only punish, but punish with impunity" (p481).
Later in the story, Fortunado asks Montrestor about his family's arms and motto, to which he replies, "A huge human foot d'or,3 in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel" (p483) and "Nemo me impune lacessit" (p483). Furthermore, foreshadows the ending as the family arm is a golden foot with serpent fans attached to the heel and the motto meaning "No one provokes me with impunity," which Fortunado disregards as he is unaware of his friend's real intentions. Fortunado was a wine connoisseur; Montrestor sharing the same passion told him about having a pipe or keg of Amontillado wine down in his family vaults when they run into each other at the carnival wanting his advice on the authenticity of the wine. The pipe of Amontillado surprises Fortunado as he says, "Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!" (p841). Fortunado, unable to resist, is precise with Montrestor in tasting this wine, regardless of his cold. As the two make their way deeper into the tunnels, verbal irony is produced. Montresor repeatedly requests Fortunado to "return" or leave the tombs as he coughs when saying, "Come," I said, with decision, "we will go back; 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. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible" (p482). Fortunado keeps pursuing the Amontillado, saying, "Enough," he said; "the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough." (p482). Ironically, Montresor has no plans to release Fortunado; therefore, this situation is where Edgar Allen Poe uses verbal irony in this short story. At the same time, showing dramatic irony throughout the process of Montrestor leading Fortunado to what will be his grave in the Montrestor family vault in the catacombs. While the two friends are walking through the catacombs, Edgar Allen Poe keeps his readers guessing as to what will happen to them: if Fortunado will pass out from the damps, if Fortunado will realize Montrestor's plan and escape the catacombs, if Montrestor will change his mind about his murderous plan, or if he will succeed in his dream of revenge. Fortunado is utterly unaware that his pal is using a pipe of Amontillado to tell him lies
as he drags him to his death. Ending with what I believe to be the biggest verbal irony when Montrestor says, "In pace requiescat!" meaning rest in peace as Montrestor killed his "friend" over an insult to his family name, which Poe never mentioned in the story. Throughout the story of "The Cask of Amontillado," Poe keeps the theme of substance abuse, ambivalence, and self-delusion. In "The Cask of Amontillado," revelry and intoxication are prevalent throughout the Carnival season. When Montresor tempts Fortunato to the tombs, he is impaired, and the bait is a keg of wine. Ironically, Fortunato appears to get sober again, or at least Montresor believes so. Even yet, it's doubtful that Fortunato would have started out being so trusting if he hadn't been drinking as Fortunado seemed in shock at the pipe of Amontillado. Fortunado says, "Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!" (p 481), as he must be shocked at the amount Montrestor claims to have of this precious wine during the big festival. There is more to the story than first meets the eye, even though ambivalence may seem a strange theme for a story about a guy whose feelings and intent are so one-sided that they cause him to bury another man alive. It is impossible to say for sure what motivates Montresor to seek retaliation. Poe leaves the reader in the dark about "the thousand injuries" (p480) Montresor has received. Montresor might have paranoid tendencies and suffer from a severe illusion about Fortunato's treatment of him. He refers to him often in the narrative as "my friend" (p481). Whatever the truth or falsity of Fortunato's wrongs, Montresor, Whether Fortunato's accusations against him are true or false, Montresor is deluding himself. He begins by making a lengthy declaration about the nature of vengeance and the proper ways to exact it against an enemy, almost like a proposition. The attacker asserts that the injustice is not righted when he fails to express his thoughts of vengeance on the person who injured him. Fortunato is murdered, but he never gives a reason. Not only does he not identify the wrongs committed against him, but he also makes no effort to indicate to
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