The Casks of Amontillado
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Casks of Amontillado” is a great tale of suspense and revenge. The story of premeditated murder. Poe explores the activities in the story from the first person point of views because of the subjectivity that exist in a first-person account. This emphasizes human weakness and adding a layer of confusion and darkness of the story. There is a strong connotative value between the action in the narration and the dialogue. There seems to be a person being addressed personally in the dialogues (Arntzen 2018). Montresor tells the story of the night he had his revenge on Fortunato, who was a fellow nobleman. Carnival was a season presented as one of joy, however, Montresor plots to murder Fortunato because of some unspecified insult. In the plot, Montresor plans to execute his plan when Fortunato is drunk, dizzy and putting on a jester’s motley. Montresor decides to invite him into the catacombs to try a cask of amontillado and then seals him to die. Poe can present these events in a manner that brings an ambiance of horror through his treatment of time and place. This causes the reader to be able to predict fear and tremble right from the start of the story.
The festive that is taking place provides a perfect opportunity for Montresor to execute his plan. He can appear in disguise and locate his target with ease. He can easily lure him to his death trap too. The narration of the descent of Montresor and Fortunato into the vault. The narration is supposed to be about murder, however, the criminal history of Montresor is downplayed. The mystery rather revolves around the cause of Montresor’s murder (Arntzen 2018). Aside from the thousand vague injuries that Montresor keeps referring about suffering at the hands of Fortunato. Montresor tries to justify his action through the excuse of in fight of the family motto “Nemo me impune lacessit”. Poe presents several occasions of irony in the story. The tile contains the works Cask which means a barrel of wine but at the same time, it is derived from the same root word used to form casket, the coffin. The author can, therefore, be telling of the coffin of Amontillado. The irony presents a dramatic irony when the reader can know what will happen to Fortunato even before they descend with Montresor into the cellar.
Poe names his chacracter, Fortunato. A name that is derived from the english word “fortunate”, this is ironic as Fortnato is faced with several unfortunates in his life contrary to his name. Montresor seems to be portraying Fortunato as a misfortune person through his costume that makes a fool of him. Montresor uses other incidences of irony such as addressing the attendants not to leave the house knowing will that they will be intrigued to leave the house. He further addresses Fortunato’s health are well yet it is portrayed that Fortunato’s coughs are a sign of a sick person suffering from cold and dampness of the catacombs.
Montresor was conscience that he would be responsible for the murder (Akbar and Rawa 2017). This is because Montresor felt it was an awful end and as well as he says he is a Mason, however, not in the view of Fortunato. Montresor attained his sought-out revenge which coincided with Fortunato’s taste of wine and price of his expertise on the subject. This insignia is symbolic of the evil character, who intends to avenge like Satan.
The irony in the story summarizes the ways in which the relationship between Montresor and Fortunato is presented. There is the use of dark humour in the dialogue between Fortunato and Montresor. Montresor jokes of Fortunato’s upcoming death which is executed by Montresor. Montresor’s last words present another irony situation. Montresor realizes his so-called friend had passed away, at last, he called Fortunato’s name severally. He says “rest in peace” in Latin. The words could mean the resting of his friend after having killed him on account that is more than premeditated (Akbar and Rawa 2017). It could also mean Fortuna’s prison, which is meant to be safe as it is deep underground. What comes out distinctly from the story is the efficient presentation of an easily recognizable, although dark, aspect of human nature
- Arntzen, Elysia. “”The Cask of Amontillado.”” (2018).
- Akbar, Nadia Ali, and Rawa Jawad Khadim. “”Irony in The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe and “A Good Man is Hard to Find by Mary Flannery O’Connor.”” Basic Education College Magazine For Educational and Humanities Sciences 33 (2017): 567-578.”