Reflection of “The Cask of Amontillado” BY ali017 Lauren Stovall English 102 Ms. Satterfield 7 April 2013 Edgar Allan Poe was a very dark, dramatic writer. All of his stories require the audience to reread his works of art. There are so many elements incorporated into his stories that it would be impossible to understand them all after one reading. His stories drip with irony and reveal mysteries in an interesting way. He writes his stories in a way that engages the mind and questions character. One of his most famous short stories is “The Cask of Amontillado”. This story has much verbal and dramatic irony.
The most ironic concepts are how the narrator interacts with Fortunato and the use of names within this story. The setting of this story was during the 1800’s, at night, and during a great party. The setting greatly adds to the suspense that is being told. If the story had been set during the daytime, there would not have been an eerie element added. Since the climax of this story happened at night and during a big party, Fortunato and Montresor were able to have been together without anyone interrupting. Montresor is the narrator in this story, and he is extremely mad at a man named Fortunato.
Poe used verbal irony for the naming of his characters. Fortunato is a French name that means “lucky’. (Lorcher) After a full reading of “The Cask of Amontillado”, the reader discovers that Fortunato is anything but lucky. Montresor is a French surname meaning “my treasure”. (Lorcher) The Montresor family considered themselves to deserve respect because of the name they carry. The “lucky’ one ended up dying because he offended his friends “treasures. ” During the great party, Fortunato drank too much, resulting in him being extremely drunk. Montresor persuades Fortunato to go into a catacomb to taste a cask of Amontillado wine.
While in the catacombs, Montresor chains up Fortunato and seals him in a niche. Montresor did not kill Fortunato instantly, he let nature take its course be leaving him sealed up in a tomb. The theme of the story is how natural it is for some people to avenge their family name, despite how wrong it may be legally and morally. Even though Montresor vowed to get revenge, it is very surprising how many times Montresor calls Fortunato his friend. Montresor had been plotting the death of Fortunato for days, maybe even weeks, and still considers him a friend.
When Montresor and Fortunato were in the catacombs, the atmosphere was having a egative effect on Fortunato. After Fortunato was coughing very bad, Montresor thought to himself, “My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes. “(Poe) That thought reflects how much Montresor,himself, was full of irony. Montresor knew the fate that he was going to be giving to Fortunato, but he was still thinking him a friend. The reader can imagine a big smile across Montesor’s face after reading that thought. Montresor had kept his idea for Fortunato’s death very secret.
Fortunato seemed to have no idea at the anger Montresor had harbored towards nlm. Fortunato trustlng Montresor causes aramatlc Irony Slnce tne reader knows the thoughts of Montresor, it is easy to see Fortunato’s character flaw in trusting Montresor. Fortunato had another character flaw: his behavior when he was drinking. Fortunato could have never trusted Montresor when he was sober. Maybe Montresor knew that Fortunato would have to be drunk in order to lure him to his death. Montresor said, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could”. Poe) It is left a mystery to the readers what Fortunado actually did to Montresor. It is extremely interesting why Poe did not write what Fortunato did. Montresor then goes n to say, “But when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. “(Poe) One might determine that Montresor was easily angered, but since the story does not reveal what Fortunato did, that is not a perfect guess. Fortunato could have actually done something extremely wrong to Montresor. Poe wanted the readers to be more symphathetic to Fortunato, leaving out the reason behind Montresors actions.
Montresor came up with an interesting way to draw Fortunato away from the party. Montresor knew exactly how to do that by chastises Fortunato, saying that he will go to Luchesi to get advice on his wine instead. Montresor pinpointed a certain erson to get advice from, instead of Fortunato himself. It is written that Fortunato was very educated in his wines. It was written that, “He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. “(Poe) Fortunato seemed like a man who was very boisterous, so everyone, including Montresor, knew about his love and skills of wine. Why, then, did he say he was going to ask Luchesi for advice?
Montresor must have known what a prideful man Fortunato was. Maybe Fortunato had a certain dislike towards Luchesi. If Fortunato had liked Luchesi then he would not have put him down. He simply said, “Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry. “(Poe) He did not ave anything nice to say about Luchesi, especially when he called him an ignoramus. Fortunato perhaps had another character flaw of having too much pride, resulting in him falling straight into Montresor’s evil plan so easily. Montresor had extremely planned out the details of his revenge. He made sure that no one would interfere.
Montresor (talking about his houses attendants) “told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. “(Poe) He had previously gone through the catacombs to find the perfect place. He had hidden his tools down there before he took Fortunato there. After Fortunato was guided to the niche, Montresor said, “In its surface were two iron staples, distant from each other about two feet, horizontally. From one of these depended a short chain, from the other a padlock. “(Poe) Montresor knew what he was doing; he definitely planned how to capture Fortunato.
After he chained Fortunato in the niche he, “uncovered a quantity of building stone and mortar. “(Poe) Montresor had mapped out his plans before he took Fortunato down there. Poe used much verbal irony in the use of Montresor’s family history. Poe gave us more insight on Montresor’s family arms and motto. The information on these adds o the irony and thoughts behind what Montresor did. Montresor told Fortunato that his family arms are “A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure, the foot crushed a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel. (Poe) This gives much information to Montresors character. A snake is a symbol of a lying, sneaky person wno narms someone. Montresor conslaerea Fortunato to De a snake to stomp out. Fortunato insulting Montresor can by symbolized as a snake biting him. Montresor crushed him by making him suffer a horrible death. The Montresor’s family motto was “Namo me impune lacessit”(Poe) which means “No one wounds me with impunity’. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, impunity is a Latin word that means “without punishment”. That motto says a lot about the character of the Montresor family.
Their motto was that no one will hurt them without punishment. They must have either been an easily angered family or had a very high sense of family honor in order for that to be their motto. The first paragraph states that Montresor, “Must not only punish, but punish with impunity. “(Poe) Montresor said, “The Montresors were a great and numerous family. “(Poe) Were, not are. The Montresors must have been a socialite years before, but are now diminishing out of ociety. Montresor took his family history and motto very seriously because his family was not on a pedestal anymore.
He did not want to stray from the beliefs of his ancestors. His family arms and motto was what gave him endurance and anyone that insulted him was, ultimately, insulting his family. While Montresor and Fortunato were walking in the catacombs, Fortunato asked him if he was a mason. Fortunato was referring to the masons that are an “international fraternal and charitable organization with secret rites and signs”. (“Freemason”) Montresor told Fortunato that, indeed, he was a mason. But Montresor was talking about the mason that deals with building architecture.
Montresor was being honest though, because he was about to build Fortunato a tomb made of stones to encase him in forever. The irony of the story was Montresor pretended to really like Fortunato. Montresor said, “That neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good-will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation. “(Poe) Montresor was very cunning in his vengeance against Fortunato. He did not let any of his hatred show through. He was absolutely nothing but a friend to Fortunato.
The title of this story is very interesting. Why did Poe decide to name the story “The Cask of Amontillado”? An obvious answer is because the cask is what Montresor used to lure Fortunato to his death. But like Poe’s entire story, there is more behind it. “Cask” and “casket” are derived from the same root wood, and casket can be interpreted as coffin. (Lorcher) In this story, Fortunato was looking for a cask of Amontillado, but he ended up finding himself in a fgurative casket. The most ironic substance to “The Cask of Amontillado” is the dialogue between Montresor and Fortunato after they share a drink.
Fortunato said, “l drink to the buried that repose around us. “(Poe) Montresor said, “And I to your long life. “(Poe) Works Cited “Freemason. ” The Free Dictionary. Farlex, n. d. Web. 7 Apr. 2013. Lorcher, Trent. “Irony and Symbolism in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe. ” Bright Hub Education. N. p. , n. d. Web. 07 Apr. 2013. Poe, Edgar Allan. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Modern Library, 1938. Print. Wood, Kerry Mlcnael. “Llterary Analysls: Irony In ” I ne cask 0T Amontlllaao,” oy Eagar Allan Helium. Helium, 15 July 2007. web. 07 Apr. 2013.