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Irony and Symbolism in The Cask of Amontillado

The Cask of Amontillado is a story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the November issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book for the year of 1846.

The story is set in an unnamed Italian city in unmarked time by author (probably in the 18th century). The story is told in the first person. The narrator tells about his deadly revenge to his friend, who allegedly humiliated him. The revenge can be found in different variations in several other stories of Poe.

Despite the fact that the murder is the central theme of the story, it cannot be attributed to the detective genre, as in The Cask of Amontillado the investigation of the crime is not described, the offender himself tells about it. The mystery of the story is that the motive for the killing remains unknown to the reader. Thus, all the detective part stays with him, the reader is free to think about the background to the murder.

Symbolism and irony play an important role in the story, like in many other works by Poe.

For example, Fortunato’s clothes hint that he is dressed as a fool, which is a symbolic representation of what he is. The supreme madness of carnival season shows the supreme madness of the narrator’s mind. This gives the story a fantastic nature, a nature topped by the madness of Montresor’s revenge. The cask is a solid cylindrical container for storing liquids, and the casket has the same root. The Amontillado present two reasons of Fortunato’s failure: Fortunato is very drunk. It is probable that his going into the catacombs has almost nothing to do with his wish to serve Montresor. He understands that the trip will have one of two results, free Amontillado or Montresor’s humiliation. Fortunato’s passion for wine leaves him sensitive to flattery, which is provided by Montresor. Montresor in French means my treasure – narrator’s treasure is the knowledge of the revenge.

The irony in the story is presented by the following examples: in Italian, Fortunato means fortunate, which is an ironic name for someone to be bricked up in catacombs. Montresor’s first tells to Fortunato that they are luckily met, while Fortunato thinks Montresor is happy to see him, Montresor means that the meeting is lucky because the carnival is an excellent time for murder.

The talk as for the Masons shows an ironic misunderstanding: Fortunato means the Masonic order, while Montresor pulls out a scapula, referring to bricklayers. In this respect, Montresor is a mason.

Fortunato’s last words are that Luchesi is an ignorant. In fact, Fortunato is the one who is ignorant, a chained-to-the-wall ignorant.

The Cask of Amontillado is a story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the November issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book for the year of 1846.

The story is set in an unnamed Italian city in unmarked time by author (probably in the 18th century). The story is told in the first person. The narrator tells about his deadly revenge to his friend, who allegedly humiliated him.

Assignment ID
100000771
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CREATED ON
31 July 2016
COMPLETED ON
2 August 2016
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