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The Cask of Amontillado Critical Essays

Literary Devices in The Cask of Amontillado

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Study Guide for "The Cask of Amontillado"

by Edgar Allan Poe
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This ghastly spectacle had been discovered by workmen some years previous to Headley's visit, but it had not been disturbed. Headley describes the skeleton in detail and concludes that the victim had died of suffocation after having been walled-up alive. The history of the In the first part, Felheim explains two requisites for Montresor to perfect his revenge; in the second part Moon accounts for Montresor's failure to exact revenge; and in the third part, Pearce compares Poe's story to a profane rite, or scriptural parody.

In "The Cask of Amontillado" there are two parts, equally important, to Montresor's revenge: Few, however, seem to have much to say about how Poe manages to achieve his extraordinary effect. I would like to propose a possible interpretation which might help explain the undeniable power which the story exerts on readers generation after generation. The critics say that the theme of "The Cask of Amontillado" is revenge. Hardin Craig says that the first paragraph of the story presents this theme.

To be sure, critics and anthologists have almost unanimously expressed admiration for the tale; 1 still, they have Lang, Carl Winter, , pp. According to the usual view, Edgar Allan Poe's "Cask of Amontillado" is a masterful tale of an implacable revenge for an unspecified insult, marked by economy of words and singleness of effect.

Yet no part of this customary estimate of the story has gone unchallenged. Whereas one writer contends that it is not a tale of revenge at all, but a manifestation of "Poe's theory of It well illustrates his obsession with live burial and his use of sadism as a Gothic device, 1 and it meets exactly the criteria of unity and economy set out in his review of Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales. But such readings separate theme and form, emphasizing one at the other's Critical commentary on "The Cask of Amontillado" has tended to dismiss the question of Montresor's motive in killing Fortunato, but the tone of the story betrays a narrator confused and troubled by the guilt of a vengeful murder that has deprived him of spiritual peace and sanctifying grace, though convinced of the righteousness of his act.

His uneasy conscience has become a kind of retribution for his crime, and the benediction "In pace It may prove both presumptuous and superfluous to try to add "yet one word more" to the already respectable body of critical material available on "The Cask of Amontillado. It is perhaps a measure of Montresor's motive [in "The Cask of Amontillado"] is generally taken to be the punishment of historical transgressions. James Rocks believes "Montresor's act of killing Fortunato is motivated.

In Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado," an heraldic emblem offers a suggestive entrance into the story. Descending into the catacombs of Montresor's failed family, Fortunato says, "I forget your arms. The proud Montresor, biding his time, blinks not and replies: Essays Presented to John C.

Gerber, edited by O. The reader who seeks guidance by perusing the "Preface" to Poe's Tales of The Grotesque and Arabesque may feel justifiably exasperated. Instead of finding definitions which might help to explain the book's title and thus lead to formal distinctions between the two aspects of Poe's fiction, the By assuming, with most readers, that the narrator of Poe's "Cask of Amontillado" is motivated by guilt to tell his tale, we miss the twin seduction he invites us to share.

Besides apparently luring Fortunato to his doom, Montresor also draws the reader to partake in the pleasure he relives in telling the tale of his successful seduction. The narrator mentions his audience only once early in the tale, offering no indication as Early in the tale, Montresor Edgar Allan Poe used the enclosure device, whether an actual physical enclosure or an enclosure alluded to on the level of image and metaphor, in a highly artistic way.

In much of his fiction, and specifically in "The Cask of Amontillado" , the device helps to focus the action, assists in plot development, and has a profound impact on the main character, often Poe's delight in allusions and word play is evident throughout his works but no more so than in the short story "The Cask of Amontillado" where proper nouns, particularly, are capable of carrying multiple meanings. Fortunato believes himself to be the "fortunate one" in that he has been selected by Montresor to taste of the rare Spanish sherry, but he is also "fated" to die.

He should feel "fortunate," according to his murderer's line of Even the most nonchalant reader admits that Edgar Allan Poe was more than a little interested in madness; he may be less aware, however, that Poe also dabbled in the dramatic arts.

Poe's mix of madness and drama, specifically the substance of revenge tragedy in "The Cask of Amontillado," offers yet another example of his wideranging mind and creative The usual way of responding to "The Cask of Amontillado" with something like pure and unqualified revulsion at Montresor's dark deed as an act outside the normal range of human behavior has its validity but stops short of the story's ultimate revelation.

Wittingly or otherwise, Poe has given us the means of seeing Montresor's act as something other than a demented or Satanic pursuit of A Psycho-analytic Interpretation, pp. Search The Cask of Amontillado. Plot and Major Characters Set in an anonymous city somewhere in the Mediterranean region of Europe during the pre-Lenten festivities of the carnival season, "The Cask of Amontillado" recounts the last meeting between two aristocratic gentlemen, the narrator Montresor and the wine connoisseur Fortunato.

As the story begins, Montresor plots complete and perfect revenge for "the thousand injuries" instigated by Fortunato, who once again has insulted him, although the particulars are never indicated. Montresor encounters the obviously tipsy Fortunato dressed in fool's motley and informs him that a recently acquired cask of amontillado sherry awaits his discriminating palate in Montresor's underground cellars. Eager to taste the wine, Fortunato follows Montresor to his palazzo and into the vaults.

Although Fortunato has a cough that is aggravated by the damp air and potassium nitrate hanging in the tunnels through which they pass, he is spurred onward after he learns that his rival Luchresi may be permitted to taste Montresor's new wine. Engaging Fortunato in dialogue ripe with irony, Montresor lures his victim deep into the family catacombs, urging him to try other wines along the way. Numerous times, he cautions Fortunato about his cough and declares his wish to go to Luchesi--whom we know little of other than Fortunato thinks he's an "ignoramus.

The two proceed down the ancient corridor when, suddenly, Montresor chains Fortunato to a wall, where he has remained ever since. Just in case you've been assigned an essay, I've included thesis statements:. Feel free to share your thesis statements by leaving a comment below. Summary It would probably take you less time to read "The Cask of Amontillado" than it will to read this summary: Everything we know is filtered through the demoniacal brain of Montresor.

Montresor is easily offended, jealous of Fortunato, and a little strange. His jealousy of Fortunato leads him to slant everything in the story to make Fortunato look stupid--his motley dress, his drunkenness, his pomposity.

The story itself indicates Montresor lacks sanity and cannot be trusted. It's his insanity, however, that leads the reader to believe he is capable of such an act. The Insult - Montresor vows revenge after Fortunato insults him. The question that must be answered is what exactly, if anything, does Fortunato do to cause such hatred in Montresor. The two exchange lively banter in the catacombs, yet nothing is revealed in regards to the insult needed to be avenged.

Why doesn't Poe include the insult? Because the insult's irrelevant and may have never occurred.

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The Cask of Amontillado Homework Help Questions In "The Cask of Amontillado," what does the narrator's attitude toward his servants reveal about It is clear that this is another key indication of the kind of character that Montresor is as a narrator.

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Analysis of The cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe essaysA cold dish: "The cask of Amontillado" The story of "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allen Poe is full of conflict from beginning to end.

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Analysis of The Cask of Amontillado Essay Words | 2 Pages. Analysis of “The Cask of Amontillado” In “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe, the dark side of human nature is illustrated through the character of Montresor and his victim, Fortunato. Analysis of The Cask of Amontillado - Analysis of “The Cask of Amontillado” In “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe, the dark side of human nature is illustrated through the character of Montresor and his victim, Fortunato. Montresor is a manipulative and vengeful person whom is obsessed with the downfall of Fortunato.

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Edgar Allan Poe was a poet as well as an editor, a novelist, a short story writer, and an essayist. He was a pathfinding theorist of the short story, who grounds us in a theory of short fiction and its affects. In this paper we will work on his short story "The Cask of Amontillado". . Amontillado!Fortunato is reveling in the carnival spirit, but it’s not enough. When he hears that Montresor has “a pipe of what passes for Amontillado,” his “energies,” as Booker would Three Act Plot Analysis.