The Cask of Amontillado Argumentative Essay

This essay has a total of 1025 words and 4 pages.

The Cask of Amontillado

A Deeper Insight of "The Cask of Amontillado"
It is Edgar Allan Poe's intense use of symbolism and irony throughout "The Cask of
Amontillado" that establishes the short story as a candidate worthy of analysis. The
skillful use of these devices are utilized by the author to create this horrific and
suspenseful short story. Irony and symbolism in "The Cask of Amontillado" greatly effect
the outcome of Fortunato's well being.

"The Cask of Amontillado" should be regarded as a slice of a horror story, which revolves
around the theme of revenge and pride" (Levine 90). "Poe's story is a case of premeditated
murder. The reader becomes quickly aware of the fact that Montressor is not a reliable
narrator, and that he has a tendency to hold grudges and exaggerate terribly, as he refers
to the thousand of injuries that he has suffered at the hands of Fortunato" (Womack NP).
The story relates a horrible revenge made even more horrible by the fact that the
vengeance is being taken when no real offense had been given. Montressor is "one who will
stop at nothing to get the revenge that he deems himself and his family worthy of, and
another who's pride will ultimately be the catalyst for his death" (Benton 215).

" Irony is a manner of expression through which words or events convey a reality different
from and even opposite to appearance or expectation" (Juvante NP). The use of such devices
in this story provides it with humor and wit, and makes the piece more interesting to
read. The sustained irony is detected through style, tone, and the clear use of
exaggeration of Montressor. From the very beginning, we notice the use of irony in the
story. The very name Fortunato would clearly imply that this is a man of good fortune,
when the actual case is that he is about to suffer a most untimely demise: the end of his
own life. The setting in which the story takes place again shows an ironic element. It is
during Venice's Carnival that the characters meet. "Carnival is supposed to be a time of
celebration and happiness for everybody. However, it is a time for revenge and death"
(Taylor 67). The way the narrator treats his enemy is one of the clearest examples of
ironic elements. When the characters meet, Montressor realizes that Fortunato is afflicted
with a severe cold; nevertheless he makes a point of him looking, remarkably well.
Montressor acts in the natural and friendly way toward the object of his revenge, and even
praises his friend's knowledge on the subject of wines. Further evidence of ironic
components is found with Montressor being a mason. We anticipate this means he is a member
of a high-class group of men, yet he actually is a stone craftsman, someone whose job it
is to prepare and use the stone for building. Montressor makes his trade as a mason useful
to build up the wall that will lock the unfortunate Fortunato inside the niche. When
Fortunato is trapped behind the wall his avenger built, Montressor re-echoes and even
surpasses Fortunato's yelling, apparently to sympathize with his victim. He is evidently
being ironic since he is actually delighted by what he has done and "gloats over the
details of his victim's sufferings" (Levine 90). The story ends with Montressor's words "
In pace requiescat!" (May he rest in peace) (Poe 177). His words are unmistakably
sarcastic: if he is a performer of a dreadful murder, then how could Montressor pray for
Fortunato to rest in peace?
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