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    Poe’s “Cask of Amontillado” Research Paper

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    Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” is one of revenge and secret murder. It’s a tale of terror starring two main characters: Montresor and Fortunato. Montresor is the narrator and the murderer. Fortunato is a wine connoisseur and the victim.

    The story begins with Montresor explaining that his friend named Fortunato done many horrible things to him throughout their time together, but last insult was the final blow that had forced him to seek revenge against his “friend”. He continues to make it aware to us that he has given Fortunato no insight to the fact that he is plotting to kill him, and he plans to use Fortunato’s knowledge of wine to lure him to his death.

    Very quickly, Montresor persuaded his friend Fortunato to come over to his home so he can show him the new case of Amontillado that he recently received. Montresor continues to say that his servants are gone from the house for the night, so the men can have the house to themselves.

    Montresor’s home is very large. When they arrive, they go down a winding staircase to enter the catacombs. It becomes aware to Montresor that Fortunato is very drunk, and he begins coughing. Montresor shows empathy and concerned for the man’s well being and feeds him more alcohol. Fortunato begins do act even more drunk, shaking with all of his movements, and accuses Montresor of not being a mason.

    Montresor states he can prove that he certainly is a mason and pulls out a trowel. Eventually they come to the very back area of the catacombs, they find a smaller opening that is filled with human bones. Next to them they see a recessed area, about four feet deep, three feet wide, and seven feet high.

    Fortunato continues in the area with Montresor’s almost pushing him into the smaller corner. However, Fortunato, who has been drinking heavily, is confused as Montresor chains him to the area. Fortunato is still asking for the Amontillado while Montresor goes to get more bricks. However, once Montresor starts building a wall at the entrance of the small area, Fortunato begins to realize what really is taking place.

    Montresor describes the sounds he hears as he builds such as, the jingling of Fortunato’s bells and the clanking of the chains. Once the wall is about half-way up, Fortunato begins screaming, and Montresor mocks him. Montresor. humors him for a moment, but soon Fortunato realizes it’s not a game. He screams, ‘For the love of. God, Montresor,’ and Montresor repeats his words. There is silence.

    The original ending for the Cask of Amontillado Montresor chains Fortunato to a wall before enclosing him inside another wall. Fortunato hopes that Montresor is joking, he laughs saying that it was a good joke and that they laugh at over their wine. Even though he clearly sees what is happening he still holds on to the idea that he will receive the Amontillado that he was promised.

    On the other hand, I ended the story with Fortunato receiving the Amontillado he was promised, but dying right after. The end of the story is already ironic because Montresor keeps telling Fortunato to turn around because he fears for his health, yet in the end it was all a part of his plan to kill him.

    With my ending the story is even more ironic, because it the Amontillado that Fortunato wanted so much that ends his life. Out of everything that could have killed him like his cough (pg. 118 lines 34) it was the thing he wanted most that ended his life.

    Poe’s style of ending the story was full of twisted irony, dark themes and symbolism. The fact that Montresor took Fortunato into the catacombs which in a way is the land of the dead during Carnival, which is a celebration of life showed his evil intention. “Their descent underground was Fortunato’s descent to hell.”

    Even the idea that Fortunato who was very much alive was left in a place full of death showcases Poe’s use of irony. Even though Fortunato dies in both the original story and mine the way he dies in Poe’s story invokes a more chilling feel than mine.

    My ending is indeterminate because in the end Montresor got the revenge he craved. Fortunato insulted Montresor to the point where he felt it necessary to murder him. That would make it a happy ending if Fortunato’s situation wasn’t so pitiable. Throughout the story he was given every opportunity to walk away but chose to continue, in hopes that he would taste the esteemed Amontillado.

    In my ending he eventually did, but it was his lust for the wine that ended his life. It is because of these facts that the story is neither a happy one nor sad one.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Poe’s “Cask of Amontillado” Research Paper. (2023, Jan 07). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/poes-cask-of-amontillado-research-paper/

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