Interpretation and Analysis of “The Cask of Amontillado” 1. Interpretation: In the short story, “The Cask of Amontillado,” what Edgar Allan Poe is really saying is that revenge does not always equal the offense that it is trying to justify. He could also be saying that your ego can be dangerous and even get you killed, if you are too caught up in it. 2. Characters:
a. Montresor is the narrator and is portrayed as coldhearted and ruthless. He kills his acquaintance because he is seeking “equal” revenge after he has been insulted. He tricks his victim into going into a catacomb (where he buries him), by asking him to taste some wine, to see if it is Amontillado. b. Fortunato is the victim who has insulted Montresor. He is portrayed as a drunk, foolish, and conceited man. Fortunato’s conceitedness gets him killed, because he takes the Amontillado that is offered to him by Montresor, all because he wanted to prove that he knew his wine better than Luchesi. 3. Setting: The setting is in a catacomb, which shows how foolish Fortunato is for following someone into a place filled with human bodies, so that he can taste some wine. 4. Symbols and Motifs:
a. Amontillado- The wine that Fortunato has agreed to taste. It is obviously a rare wine that would show wealth for someone who has it. b. Nitre- White web like material that is on the walls. It symbols the trap that Montreso has set up for Fortunato. c. Fortunato’s clothing- He is dressed as a jester which signifies that he is a fool. 5. Style: Poe uses a style full of horror and sarcasm, which shows the insanity of Montreso. He is also unreliable, because he never tells what Fortunato has done to deserve his punishment. 6. Title: The title, “The Cask of Amontillado” is given, because the cask full of Amontillado is what led Fortunato to his death. Also, the word casket has the same root as cask. 7. Point of View: The story is told from a first-person point of view, so that it is easy to see how coldhearted Montreso. He tells the story in a calm manner and never shows any emotion while he kills Fortunato.
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