The Cask of Amontillado: Essay

In "The Cask of Amontillado," Montresor describes how an affront to him caused him to seek retribution on Fortunato during a carnival in Venice. Montresor made sure Fortunato was unaware of his plans so that he could exact his vengeance without suffering any consequences. At a fair, Montresor runs into Fortunato and draws him into his home's catacombs, where he kills him. In order to accomplish his goal, Montresor must appease Fortunato's desires. To do this, he offers the elusive amontillado wine. Later on, he drags a wasted Fortunato into the family tunnels. Montresor immediately ties Fortunato and closes the opening leaving no room for him to find help. Fortunato cries loudly, but Montresor could not listen. As a result, Fortunato dies, and his body remains there for half a century, untouched by any human hands.

The most critical events in the story are where Montresor decides to seek revenge after being hurt a thousand times and later insulted. Moreover, how Montresor meets Fortunato in an unsuspected way and lures him into the family catacombs makes Montresor a wise person. Also, Montresor promises of Amontillado wine and after that leads Fortunato deeper into the underground graveyard. Fortunato eventually walks into a small hole where he is later chained up by Montresor. Finally, Montresor blocks the hole and leaves Fortunato to rot inside.

The main characters are Montresor and Fortunato. Initially, Montresor sounds a genuine person, but we later realize he is a murderer, and he, not only enjoys killing, but also brags about it. Fortunato enjoys insulting and hurting others, he insulted Montresor and hurt him a thousand times to an extent Montresor called for revenge. Montresor describes him as a strong man to be feared. Furthermore, he is a drunkard, and it is through wine that he falls to Montresor trap. What displeased me most is the brutality that is expressed by the narrator. I expected that after chaining him, he would have forgiven him (Fortunato), but Montresor mocked him and left him to die there alone.

The title is very significant, to begin with, amontillado means alcohol while casks are the same as the barrels. When Montresor tells Fortunato, he has a "pipe of what passes for Amontillado," (Poe 4), in this context, cask and pipe means the same. Also, cask implies casket which is used to bury the dead. We find that Fortunato seeks cask of Amontillado which means barrel of wine but in reality, what Montresor prepared was a casket of death.

The setting of underground catacomb placed in Italy during the carnival seasons sounds terrifying. The environment shows freedom or confinement of people, Fortunato moves from liberty to detention until he meets his death, as they went deeper to the catacomb, the place appeared smaller and smaller and more terrifying. As a result, the life of freedom Fortunato lived was coming to an end.

The characters have been introduced to bring out the real picture of freedom and confinement. For instance, for one person to be free the other must be put to death. The author has vividly shown different themes. For example freedom and confinement, Montresor seeks for freedom by plotting to kill Fortunato; this was as a result of Fortunato insulting Montresor and hurting him a thousand times. Drugs and alcohol abuse messed the life of Fortunato, whereby, Montresor uses it as bait to trap Fortunato. Montresor describes Fortunato as a man with a weakness in which, he prided himself in connoisseurship in wine despite him being strong and a man to be feared. The story helps us to know that foolishness can cost someone's life, as it happened with Fortunato.

The tone is unsettling and threatening. Montresor is ironical and creates a feeling of unease to the audience. He describes the odor of human remains elegantly, and it almost sounds so pleasant, but in a real sense, there was an unpleasant smell in the place. Conflict resolution, in this case, is based on murder rather than utilizing other methods like arbitration among others.

Work Cited

Poe, Edgar Allan. The cask of Amontillado. The Creative Company, 2008.

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