Revenge: A Narrative and Scientific Perspective Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” and Browning’s “My Last Duchess” both revolve around revenge. We are introduced to men who swear vengeance on other characters. Yet, the mindsets of these men are, in some aspects, very different. To truly comprehend a story, we have to understand why authors make their characters behave the way they do in addition to the message being presented. In the case of “The Cask of Amontillado” and “My Last Duchess,” why do both narrators believe murder is totally necessary? To fully recognize underlying meanings, we need to analyze characters from a narrative and scientific perspective. For example, there is actually scientific reasoning to classify narrators of these stories as “psychopaths.” It is very likely that the narrators of these two stories suffer from several mental disorders, which fully give reason to the events of the stories. To see the true perspective of how both stories handle murder, revenge, and the mental health of the narrators, we need to look at why the narrator of “My Last Duchess” feels offended, why the narrators choose murder, and how the narrator of “The Cask of Amontillado” carries out the murder. First, why …show more content…
Montresor tortures Fortunato, both physiologically and physically. Montresor clearly gives Fortunato “multiple chances to escape his fate” (Delany 34), as he gives Fortunato obvious clues to his true intensions. These include leading Fortunato into a place for the dead, telling Fortunato not to go due to his severe cough that made it “impossible to reply” (Poe 5) at times, reminding Fortunato of his family arms, mentioning Luchesi, and showing Fortunato a trowel. Montresor seems to receive morbid joy out of the fact that Fortunato is so intoxicated that, just like the foot on Montresor’s coat of arms, he is unintentionally “stepping into his own destruction” (Cervo
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"The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. "(Montressor; Cask of Amontillado) As the saying goes, hatred and grudges can lead to fatal circumstances. Edgar Allen Poe illustrates the concept of revenge through Montressors' demented thoughts and creates a sense that Montressor feels revenge should be considered okay because of the reasoning behind it.
“The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar Allen Poe is a story about revenge. The protagonist, Montressor, is confessing to a “you” about a murder that he had committed in the past. To determine the “you” the social classes of Montressor, the location of the story and revenge must be analyzed. In the story, Montressor speaks about Fortunato and says, “He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine.” (Poe)
Guilty by Reason of Aggravated First Degree Murder Graham Greene once said, “A murderer is regarded by the conventional world as something almost monstrous, but a murderer to himself is only an ordinary man. It is only if the murderer is a good man that he can be regarded as monstrous.” Montresor is a monstrous man in the way that he murdered Fortunato. In “The Cask of Amontillado”, by Edgar Allan Poe, a short story, Montresor is not good man: he is a monstrosity. This ordinary man committed manslaughter because Fortunato “injured” him.
Due to the use of first person in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” Montresor’s syntax and diction are the only mechanisms used to characterize Fortuno in the story. This subjects the perception of both Fortuno and Montresor to a great deal of bias. Although Montresor claims that Fortuno has committed “a thousand injuries” (127) there are never any specific instances of his treachery cited within the text.
According to the text, after Montresor reaches for a bottle of wine to give to Fortunato, Fortunato states “I drink to the buried that repose around us”(61). Then, Montresor says “ and I, to your long life”(61). This reveals Montresor is sarcastic, for he drinks Fortunato’s long life despite he is about to bury him alive. Montresor is very strategic in his words and actions, for he pursues and lures Fortunato into the catacombs and gets him more intoxicated to fulfill his mission. This also foreshadows Fortunato’s death, which is soon to come.
Revenge is a popular theme explored in most facets of literature and other forms of entertainment. The popularity of the use of revenge in stories stems from people’s natural habit of reciprocation and the ordinary person’s lack of power in the real world. This kind of retribution is a main pillar of both Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask Of Amontillado” and Ha Jin’s “Saboteur”. While these stories may contrast from one another in their execution of the revenge, the themes behind said revenge have some pivotal similarities. Both stories are based around a character that has been pushed to his limits and seeks nothing short of death for vengeance.
When people fail to resolve their conflicts and differences, murder often crosses their minds to solve any problems they may have. Murders around the world ruin families and friendships, and leave victims and witnesses irreparably broken. In Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor murders the man who insulted him because he premeditates the crime and expresses remorse for his truculent actions. First, Montresor premeditates the crime of first-degree murder prior to the actual day of the crime. Montresor speaks of getting “…avenged…” after Fortunato insults him, indicating that murdering his friend would give himself revenge (Poe 61).
Any fan of the medieval and Victorian eras knows that there are many stories centered around the rectification of lost or sullied honor through varying means of revenge. Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” is no exception. The story’s protagonist, Montresor, feels that his friend, Fortunato, has insulted his family’s honor and decides to take revenge during a nighttime carnival by luring Fortunato into the Montresor family crypt and sealing him inside to die a slow death. Through the use of irony and symbolism, Poe reveals to readers an intense theme of revenge. Poe’s theme of revenge is illuminated through his application of the three different types of irony: dramatic, verbal, and situational.
How far does one go to achieve revenge? While most people do not escalate the situation, some do escalate revenge to immeasurable levels. But those that do not forgive are condemned to commit it. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of the Amontillado” demonstrates a cruel act of revenge.
Montresor uses “reverse psychology,” (Reynolds 184) to undermine Fortunato’s death, thus makes him an effective scoundrel. As Montresor never asks Fortunato to go with him and deliberately threatens to go to Luchesi instead. This creates tension with Fortunato, which Montresor tries use to his advantage by subliminally convincing Fortunato to
Cask of Amontillado Expository Essay In the story “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe, the main character, Montresor is quite upset with Fortunato so he took it upon himself to kill him. This behavior wasn’t or isn’t a normal thing to do, unless you are mentally ill, or sadistic. He appears to be sadistic because of his sadistic actions, premeditation of the event, and overly friendly to Fortunato as he kills him.
All this time we here what Montresor is thinking and saying but not Fortunato, we know nothing of what he is thinking or even going through. There is much sympathy for a man being punished that we do not know what for. All Edgar Poe lets us know is that Montresor never lets Fortunato what he is mad at him for, and what he knows is that he was at the carnival with his good friend. For Fotunato he is a wine expert attending the Carnival with his friend Montresor and partied in the streets. Knowing Montresor’s plan with the wine, all Fortunato thinks of it as his friend having his back and bringing him a supply of amontillado, while they party all night.
People were examined after doing performing an act of revenge and results revealed that they had a high outcome negative mood. In the story Montresor shows a hint of remorse when he says “My heart grew sick”. As Fortunato was dying he felt some guilt but was quick to blame it on the catacomb. Overall, the theme of revenge is commonly seen in literature as well as in real life. In “The Cask of Amontillado” we see a strong theme of revenge right from the start, and it led to death.
To begin with, revenge is established through the use of symbolism in “The Cask of the Amontillado”, and allows the act to be viewed through a marxist lense. The Marxist lense is a literary criticism based of of the theories of Karl Marx. A person of this school of thought would focus on the class differences, economic or otherwise, as well as the implications and complications of a capitalist system. Marx even asserts that, “There will always be conflict between the upper, middle, and lower (working) classes and this cycle of contradiction revolution and tension must continue”. “The Cask of the Amontillado” fits into this school of thought as it deals with class struggles between the evidently upper class (Fortunato) and the evidently lower class (Montresor).