Theme: the Cask of Amontillado

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Dana Sayell
English 1020
Section 105168
April 6th, 2013
Topic #3
The Cask of Amontillado
The Cask of Amontillado, which was written by Edgar Allen Poe in the early 1800’s, is about a man named Montresor who has been insulted by another man named Fortunato and has planned his revenge on the man. He plays along being a dear friend to Fortunato and convinces him to taste some wine in which he had purchased to see if it is worth what he had paid for. Montresor then takes him down to the cellar/catacombs where the wine supposedly is. They reach their desired spot and Montresor goes through with his plan and traps him, leading to his death. The overall theme to this story is obviously revenge. This is proven through many different techniques and descriptions such as the Narration technique and the symbolism in Montresors family motto and crest.

Montresor comes from a family of masons, which were hardworking builders. The Coat of Arms for the Montresor family is a golden foot in a blue background crushing a snake whose fangs are embedded in the foot's heel, with the motto Nemo me impune lacessit ("No one insults me with impunity"). Now the definition of impunity is: “exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss”. The image on the Coat of Arms goes hand in hand with the motto. The image shows that one will get payback for a wrong, as the snake does to the human foot by putting it’s fangs into the foot as revenge for being crushed. This is brought up in the story to help explain and express the whole revenge theme in the story. This symbolism is also a foreshadowing of what later occurs towards the end of the story. Montresor lives up to the family motto and takes his revenge of Fortunato.

In this story, Poe uses an amazing first person narration. Using this type of narration lets us, the readers, know what the character has seen, done, spoke, heard and thought. The narration is very straightforward in thought and meaning. Montresor tells you exactly...
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