What is the Mood of ‘The Cask of Amontillado’: Revenge’s Dark Embrace

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Updated: Aug 05, 2023
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Setting the Stage for Retribution: Montresor’s Ominous Foreshadowing

An angry man takes revenge on a connoisseur that insulted his family. He gets the connoisseur drunk, brings him down to the catacombs, and buries him alive.This is Cask of Amontillado. In this story, the only thing Montresor is acting on is his endless need to take revenge on Fortunato. This obsessiveness drives Montresor insane, which leads to him killing Fortunato. Revenge leads to violence, as shown by Montresor foreshadowing Fortunato’s death, Fortunato’s highly charged emotional states, and Montresor’s obsessive passions in Cask of Amontillado by Poe.

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Montresor makes Fortunato die, as shown by foreshadowing. For example, at the beginning of the story, when he is thinking about what he’s going to do to Fortunato, Montresor says, “I must not only punish but punish with impunity.” This is foreshadowing because it shows the reader that Montresor has promised to take revenge. Also, when they are toasting before they drink, Montresor says, “And I to your long life.” The reader already knows that Montresor has vowed revenge on Fortunato, so we know that his life isn’t going to be much longer. These two quotes show how Montresor foreshadows Fortunato’s death.

Mood of ‘The Cask of Amontillado’: Emotional Turmoil and Obsessive Revenge

Fortunato’s highly charged emotional states show how revenge leads to violence. An example would be when Fortunato starts rattling the chains trying to get free. He screams, “A succession of loud and shrill screams.” This shows the panic of Fortunato and how his screaming leads to Montresor almost stabbing him with his rapier. Another instance would be when the impending doom has finally settled in Fortunato after Montresor has placed all but one brick in the wall. Fortunato says, “For the love of God, Montresor!” His pleading portrays how scared he is and how he wants Montresor to say all of it was just a joke, leading to Montresor putting the last brick in the wall and Fortunato suffocating to death. Violence is the effect of Fortunato’s highly charged emotional states.

Montresor is so hooked on making Fortunato suffer, which shows how obsessive passions lead to violence. For example, in the first sentence of the story, Montresor says,” When he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” Montresor shows an example of how his need for revenge consumes his mind and leads to him killing Fortunato. Another example would be when Montresor is building the wall of brick. He says,” I laid the second tier, and the third, and the fourth […] I resumed the trowel and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh tier.” The quote shows how hooked Montresor is on building the wall because the only time he stopped was when Fortunato tried to get out of the chains, and after the noise stopped, he just proceeded on to building the rest of the wall. This possession of his mind leads him to trap Fortunato and kill him, therefore showing that Montresor’s obsessive passions lead to violence in Cask of Amontillado.


  1. Poe, E. A. (1846). The Cask of Amontillado. In Godey’s Lady’s Book.
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What is the Mood of 'The Cask of Amontillado': Revenge's Dark Embrace. (2023, Aug 05). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/what-is-the-mood-of-the-cask-of-amontillado-revenges-dark-embrace/