"The Cask of Amontillado" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe based on revenge that the character Montresor seeks against Fortunato, even though the reason for his actions is kept in secret. As a dramatic monolog, it involves a brilliance of aesthetic formation revealing a mystery of his material in the conjunction, theme, plot, and preconceived effect. All through the text, there are various symbols foreshadowing Montresors revenge. Through these symbols, readers are able to predict the grisly end of Fortunato. Symbolism normally assists readers in making sense of the text and literature normally relies on symbols, images, and metaphors for delivering communication with audiences. In the story, Poe chooses each line considering the reader to be enthralled until the story reaches its final shock. Through observing the themes and symbols of The Cask of Amontillado, the inner desire for revenge and what happened after the story becomes clear.
The principals within Poes subterranean comedy of vengeance are the methodical Montresor and the careless and inebriated Fortunato. Planning to take revenge with consummate skills, Fortunato is loored with Montresor even deeper into the family wine vault for the purpose of paying him back for the thousand injuries and an insult for which occurred at the hands of Fortunato. All through the story, Fortunato is entirely uninformed of Montresors evil plans. By use of reverse thinking, Montresor repeatedly mentions Luchesi, a new wine specialist whom Fortunato doesnt want him to have Fortunatos attention in tasting the wine.
The first important symbol in the short story is amontillado that Montresor uses in luring Fortunato into the catacombs. The amontillado and other types of liquor referenced throughout the story symbolize weakness in the people taking it. As a matter of fact, in his first portrayal of Fortunato, Montresor notes that he is without a weak point; he prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Fortunato is seen as having drunk enough at the carnival party, which is an indication that his knowledge of wine is not simply a weakness, he is well known for taking more than enough of it too.
As Fortunato is lured away by Montresor from the party with the promises of showing him the Amontillado, he constantly gives Fortunato more wine, ensuring that he is well intoxicated. Through this, Montresor is certain of chaining up and trapping Fortunato without much trouble. The wine is a symbol of both mental and physical weakness in Fortunato, which offers Montresor, an upper hand.
Meanwhile, Fortunato is described as wearing a tight-fitting party-stripped dress and a conical cap and bells, which is a clear indication of how ridiculous Fortunato looks in his consume, even though after he arrives at the carnival, he does not entirely stand out. Actually, it is Montresor, depicted as dressing a mask of black silk and putting on a short, lined cape, who would have seemed out of place at the carnival. Instead, as the storys setting proceeds to the catacombs, Fortunato becomes evidently out of place.
Fortunatos choice of the dress adds an essential layer of meaning to the story, as Montresor uses the description of the outfit in highlighting ways that he is superior to Fortunato. This symbolic outfit is a symbol of irony. In this case, Fortunato does not only became the fool but also becomes one as well. Furthermore, the outfit that Fortunato is dressing, which also includes, bells, sets up the eerier ending of the story when Montresor listens for Fortunato and simply hears the jingling of bells. Fortunatos outfit foreshadows the way he will make a fool of himself for choosing to follow Montresor into the catacombs and ending up walled up there.
Montresors choice of sealing Fortunato into the catacombs is an indication of the deep desire for revenge not simply for himself but for the legacy of his family as well. While Montresor avoids directly addressing how Fortunato gas offended his family, the recurring catacombs symbols, as well as the bones of his family, suggests the motivation of Montresor to seek vengeance on behalf of his family. Montresor shows evidently the importance of trapping Fortunato in the catacombs as they walk through them.
In the story, the Latin motto No one attacks me with impunity, suggests that anybody who chooses to hurt Montresors family will not get away with it. The image or arms that represent a family name is a foot of crushing serpent which bites with that same foot. This image is a reflection of how Montresor will avenge Fortunato for his family, similar to the foot that stops the snake, despite the risk or actual injury. The arms and motor are symbolic of the thoughts of Montresor about acting in vengeance; he is set to seek revenge not simply for the family but for the honor of his family as well, despite the damages that can be made in the process.
In fact, the decision that Montresor makes of trapping in his ancestors catacombs is symbolic for the same reason; his intentions are for Fortunato to be trapped with the ancestors forever, as a reminder of the wrongdoings that Fortunato has made both Montresor and his family undergo. All through "The Cask of Amontillado," Poe utilizes symbols in validating Montresors act of revenge for the reader. After all, eventually, Montresor shows his revenge against Fortunato has remained undiscovered for over a century.
Montresor feels what could be a moment of guilt after hearing the ringing bells as he puts the last stone on the wall, but with that ringing comes the reminder that Fortunato was a fool who deserved his ultimate fate. After sobering up, Fortunato pleads for his life with a painful outcry from within the pitiful outcry from the horrible shrine for the love of God, Montresor (Poe). But since as a fool he deserved his punishment, Montresor reminds Fortunato in a polite tone, the justice of his sentence even as he finished the wall and inserted the final stone like a cork rammed into his well-preserved cask fo well-aged revenge.
Montresor is neither suspected nor blamed for the crime. Indeed, the final scene is read as a confessional or a triumphant relocation, the influence of the story of the contemporary gatholic tale of revenge is undeniable. Even so, few critics of The Cask of Amontillado believe that Montresor has taken his revenge on Fortunato with impunity. Even though here is a great disagreement over the motives for the revenge, there is a general agreement that he has been haunted for a long time by his actions and is eventually unburdening himself to his confessor, perhaps on his deathbed.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The cask of amontillado. The Floating Press, 2016.
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