Revenge in the Cask of Armontillado

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Kate Golding
Dr. McWilliams
ENGL 110 #3
1st March 2013
Fueling Revenge
Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” is a complex story that follows the relationship between the two characters that ultimately ends with the murder of Fortunato. Poe uses imagery and the setting of the story to surprise the reader with the gruesome ending, however further analysis of the symbols in the story makes it evident the conclusion was inevitable. Poe’s use of symbolism highlights the revenge individuals will seek when they feel like they have been betrayed. The Amontillado is a key symbol in this short story as it is the means to the manipulation and the way Montresor exacts his revenge. The narrator, Montresor, feels he has been betrayed by Fortunato and while the audience never understands what caused his ill feelings the introduction of the story makes it clear his intentions of revenge. Fortunato is unsuspecting of Montresor’s intentions; he doesn’t realize that Montresor’s smile is at the thought of his death. Betrayal can only occur when there is an element of trust in a relationship, and just like Fortunato betrayed Montresor, he is going to use his knowledge of Fortunato's flaws against him “he had a weak point…. He prided himself on his connoisseurship of wine”(157). Poe repeatedly uses the phrase “my friend” highlighting that his revenge can only be completed if he betrays his friends trust. The use of the Amontillado in the title is engaging the reader from the beginning, highlighting the important role it has in the story. Different kinds of alcohol are used throughout the story as a device for Monsters revenge. He is attempting to keep Fortunato merry and intoxicated so not to suspect anything, and showing the audience his excessive pride would be his ultimate downfall. When Poe chooses the carnival as the opening setting for his short story, it shows to the reader that Fortunato is going to be drunk and in a festive mood, completely...
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