March 11, 2014
"A Cask of Amontillado"
The short story "A Cask of Amontillado", by Edgar Allen Poe, Poe takes the reader into the thoughts of a murderer for revenge. The major theme to "A Cask of Amontillado" is pride versus revenge as well as humiliation. The reader is experiencing the horror of dramatic irony that we, the audience, knows that Montresor has planned to murder Fortunado, while Fortunado does not. Personally, I can relate to Montresor, to feel so hurt and betrayal from a friend , however not to the extent of murder. Overall, the reader experiences Montresor's struggle between pride and revenge, Montresor wanting to kill Fortunado as well as feeling good about doing it for closure.
Poe has been known for writing short stories that have gothic, dark themes that relate to a "mad man" in a situation that he has to face. "A Cask of Amontillado" starts off which Montresor venting on his bitterness for Fortunado and how he wants to seek revenge. Knowing that Fortunado is very drunk from alcohol, he feels that it is the perfect opportunity to get his revenge by offering him more free alcohol. To seek closure from the betrayal that he feels, Montresor lures Fortunado down into the catacombs and buries his body in the wall. Throughout the entire short story, the reader feels suspense and horror. Especially knowing the unreliable state of the narrator and knowing that Montresor is going to kill Fortunado but not knowing when or how.
I can relate to the struggle of having to choose between revenge and pride. In middle school, I had a best friend from many years and the only person I could talk to. After finding out that my friend had replaced me and found new friends, I felt hurt and betrayed and wanted to get back revenge. As well as getting revenge, I was exceedingly jealous which only made me more angry. And the more I thought about how jealous I was to the thought of being replaced made me want to do something so bad to get back at her. The difference between Montresor and myself is that he became too into revenge that his pride was that he needed Fortunado to pay and suffer for whatever is was that Fortunado did to Montresor.
In response to the story, Shazma Hamid states that, " when the thought of revenge develops in a person’s brain, it drives him insane and does not allow him to give it a second thought, " (Hamid 4). We know that Montresor is seeking revenge when he states that " The thousand injuries of Fortunado I had borne as I best could: but when he ventured upon assault, I vowed revenge, (Poe 144). Hamid also states that Montresor has been so deep in thought of plotting to kill Fortunado and fighting bitterness and jealousy, that he does not even give a reason on how Fortunado betrayed him, (Hamid 4).
Similar to Hamid, Michael Cummings believes that the theme to "A Cask of Amontillado is deception. He says that when he lures Fortunado down into the catacombs, he deceives Fortunado. He tells him that he wants to taste some whine to see if the wine in genuine Amontillado or not, (Cummings