The Cask of Amontillado: Epitome of an Anti-Hero

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The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe is a story centred upon an act of revenge. Poe with his characters demonstrates how an unchecked emotion of a person can lead to another’s destruction. Montresor is used by Poe to exemplify the violence of which humans are capable of doing in terms of revenge. Stepp (1976) further concludes that by so doing Poe suggests that Montresor or his nature resides within each person who reads the story [...].  The implication is clearly that any person could, provide the correct provocation, perform an act as heinous as that which Montresor does. Montresor, the character whose perspective the readers get to experience the story, is one who is full of mystery and suspense. He sets the audience in the mood of terror by narrating the beginning of the story with angst: The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best as I could but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. By creating this character, Poe catapults Goth into his story.

After introducing to the audience to what permeates in his mind, Montresor then further explicates the purpose of the other character: Fortunato, the man who is object to his revenge. The way Montresor interacts with Fortunato is the main producer of the suspense in the story. The readers are not given explicit detail as to how Montresor will exact his revenge but are shown that Montresor is a cunning man who uses reverse psychology to formulate his plans. With the use of this technique, Montresor brings more tension in the story. Poe lengthens the suspense when he lets the two characters interact without letting the readers know what is going on in the murderer’s mind. The narration of Montresor in the beginning of the story already brings up question in the readers minds: The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne, as I best could [...], Montresor never specifies what injuries and insult Fortunato inflicted on him. The conversations between the two intensify the suspense of the...
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