An Essay on Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”
Through Poe’s work, “The Cask of Amontillado”, a story of revenge is relayed. Fortunato, a care-free drunk, offends Montresor, the all too serious type, once too many times. So, Montresor seeks revenge through the murder of his “friend”. It is made apparent through the setting, characterization, and through irony in this story that good people mask their deep seeded evil.
The setting of a story is simply the where and when of that story. “…through several suites of rooms to the archway that led into the vaults. I passed down a long and winding staircase …We came at length to the foot of the decent, and stood together on the damp ground of the catacombs of the Montresors,” Montresor thought in the moment. This quotation points our setting out as catacombs. This setting foreshadows a grim theme.
A characterization is how the author, in this case Poe, reveals a character’s identity. Montresor is characterized by his family’s motto, “Nemo me impune lacessit,” which is Latin for: No one can attack me and go unpunished. Therefore, when Fortunato offends Montresor with his insults as shown in Montresor’s thought of, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” The revenge Montresor seeks is shown in his thoughts, “… and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.” Montresor is describing how he will continue to smile and mask the evil he has planned;