Analysis Of The Cask Of Amontillado

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Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, The Cask of Amontillado, details a carefully plotted murder as revenge for an unspecified insult. The murderer, Montresor, carefully lures a wine connoisseur into his family’s catacomb and walls him within a crevice where he claims to have stored an expensive wine. The plot for this scheme appears to be overly meticulous and complicated, especially as one intended to kill for vengeance. In the introductory paragraph, Montresor explains the basis for his specific method: “[A wrong is] unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.” It is ambiguous what insult or injury generated Montresor’s desire to kill, but it is apparent that each detail in his plan is intended…show more content…
The Cask of Amontillado is an example of Poe’s use of multiple climaxes. The first is the long walk to the end of the Montresor catacomb where the anticipated wine is said to be, and the second culminates as Montresor gradually lays brick and mortar over a crevice in order to bury Fortunato alive. This second climax is an unusual way for a murder story to end. When The pair reached the end of the catacomb, Montresor could have simply strangled, bludgeoned, stabbed, or shot his victim and hid the body among the skeletons. But instead of a simple one-climax death scene, Montresor exerts himself to erect a massive wall over the screams of a conscious Fortunato. The mode of murder was clearly intended to keep the victim alive over a long process. The reason being is that Montresor believes that the way Fortunato would die is comparable to his own feelings. Montresor stated: “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” All of the bricks laid one-by-one across Fortunato is symbolic of Fortunato’s insults against Montresor. Just as Montresor had to stand numerous insults, Fortunato literally stands and watches as he is slowly smothered by hundreds of bricks. What makes the murder especially brutal is that Fortunato will asphyxiate over time in an enclosed, dark, and solitary confinement as opposed to a sudden death. This is an indication that the crime Montresor claims to be victim of affected his social status in an Italian connoisseur society. His fall in rank is stated when he explains that the Montresors were a great and numerous family. Fortunato is not explicitly stated to be the reason of the decline, but it is true that Montresor feels that his family has lost its majesty and would take insinuations of this fact to be a terrible insult. An injury to Montresor’s family honor would cause him
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