The Coat Of Arms In The Cask Of Amontillado

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What is a coat of arms and why is it an important part of Edgar Allen Poe’s story The Cask of Amontillado? According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a coat of arms, which dates to medieval time, was “the principal part of a system of hereditary symbols dating back to early medieval Europe, used primarily to establish identity in battle”. It originated from the surcoat, the tunic worn over the armor to shield it from the sun. It had the same picture that would appear on a knight’s banner and shield. In those days the heralds would use them to identify the knight on the battlefield or in tournaments. A coat of arms, or crest, consisted of a shield, a warrior’s helmet, the mantling which protects his neck from the sun, the wreath which secures the mantling and crest to the helmet, and the crest itself (the term for the device above the helmet). In addition, there may also be achievement badges, mottoes, supporters, and a crown or coronet. The colors used for the creation of a crest developed over time. In the 17th and 19th centuries, “arms were embellished to record personal or family history, often in ways that ignored the traditions of heraldry’s origins” (Britannica). Another important aspect of the coat of arms is the motto. A motto, according to World Book, is “a brief sentence adopted as a rule of conduct”. They were used on the crest to purport the family history, chivalry or to instill fear in the enemy. These points are particularly important in Poe’s story. As
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