The Cask of Amontillado

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In one of Edgar Allen Poe’s best-known Tales of horror, “The Cask Of Amontillado,” he suggests that pride can be a very dangerous thing. Poe presents the compelling drama of two men, 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. Fortunato falls prey to Montresor’s plans because he is so proud of his connoisseurship of wine, and it is for the sake of his own pride that Montresor takes revenge on Fortunato. In this essay I will examine how Poe utilizes plot elements, style, narration, setting, theme, symbolization, and literary devices in order to create such a horrific and suspenseful masterpiece.

“The Cask of Amontillado” weaves all the plot elements together in such a way as to keep a readers attention throughout the entire story without wanting to put it down. This story starts its inciting incident with the Montresor meeting his friend Fortunato seeking revenge “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge… It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend” (Jerome B et al. 70). Next, the story moves to its rising action in which Montresor explains to Fortunato that he has purchased a cask of amontillado luring Fortunato into the catacombs of Montresor’s wine vaults “I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts” (Jerome B et al. 70). The turning point occurs when they descend deep into the catacombs of the vault toward the elusive amontillado “”Come, let us go.” “Whither?” “To your vaults”” (Jerome B et al. 71). The Climax Occurs after there decent, where Fortunato explores a niche in hopes of finding the amontillado when the Montresor chains Fortunato up and starts to wall him in “At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less spacious… A moment more and...
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