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what are some themes in the cask of amontillado

by Nikita Hammes Published 1 year ago Updated 3 months ago
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"The Cask of Amontillado" Themes

  • Revenge Revenge can be considered the main The Cask of Amontillado theme. The very first line of the story is “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge." The next few paragraphs elaborate on what he considers revenge. ...
  • Delusion ‍ ...
  • Substance Abuse ‍ ...
  • Freedom ‍ ...
  • Remorse ‍ ...
  • Pride ‍ ...

The main themes in “The Cask of Amontillado” are ambivalence, self-delusion, and substance abuse. Ambivalence: Readers are never told the nature of the “thousand injuries of Fortunato,” and Montresor himself seems somewhat ambivalent about the revenge he takes on his “friend.”Nov 4, 2011

Full Answer

What is the mood of the story called The Cask of Amontillado?

Mood Description In The Cask Of Amontillado. It represents the place for burial, so when narrator leads Fortunato to the catacomb, the mood of the story thickens with a growing suspicion and anxiety. In addition to that, the catacomb is filled with an intoxicating smell of nitre and ancient bones, skeletons, and other human remains.

What are some character traits in 'the cask of Amontillado'?

In The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe, the dark side of human nature is exemplified through the character of Montressor and his victim, Fortunato. Montressor is a manipulative and vengeful person. These characteristics lead to the death of Fortunato, a man who has wronged him. Through the acts, words, and thoughts of the character, one ...

Are there any metaphors in 'the cask of Amontillado'?

There are a few examples of metaphorical language in "The Cask of Amontillado." For example, in describing the nitre (or "niter"), or a kind of chemical that is also called potassium nitrate or ...

Is the cask of Amontillado an effective horror story?

This tale is effective in communicating terror, yet at the same time it communicates a certain black humor. Poe was also very talented with the written word and as such, “The Cask of Amontillado” is fraught with puns and double meanings.

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What Is The Cask of Amontillado themes?

The title “The Cask of Amontillado” represents the themes of revenge, foolishness, and intense irony. The story is rife with examples of these three themes, from the names of the characters to the numerous examples of symbolism.

What is the theme of the story Fortunato?

Theme: Revenge when he [Fortunato] ventured upon insult I vowed revenge." The narrator tells us what he thinks the incident to follow was all about. After hearing the full story, the reader can agree that the narrator was reliable on this point.

How is the theme of a cask of Amontillado revenge?

In the story, the narrator seeks revenge on Fortunato because he mortally insulted him. Montresor succeeds in luring Fortunato to his death without raising any suspicion. A horrible revenge made significantly more awful by the way that the retribution is being taken when no genuine offense had been given.

Is revenge a theme?

Revenge is mainly associated with anger, hatred, and grief. That's why the theme of revenge is so prevalent in art and literature. It allows authors to show the feelings people experience before, during, and after an act of vengeance.

What are the themes of the Cask of Amontillado?

The Cask of Amontillado Themes 1 Ambivalence: Readers are never told the nature of the “thousand injuries of Fortunato,” and Montresor himself seems somewhat ambivalent about the revenge he takes on his “friend.” 2 Self-delusion: Montresor appears to be under the delusion that his murder of Fortunato is just, and perhaps even that Fortunato has wronged him at all, while Fortunato is under the delusion that Montresor means him no harm. 3 Substance abuse: Alcohol and drunkenness play central roles in the story, contributing to Fortunato’s gullibility and ultimate demise in Montresor’s wine cellar.

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Why doesn't Montresor explain himself?

Perhaps Montresor does not explain himself because there's nothing to explain. In any event, he appears to be under a delusion that he's been victimized, or at least in thinking that suffocating a man alive is the appropriate punishment for whatever Fortunato has supposedly done.

What is Ambivalence in a story?

Ambivalence might be an unexpected theme for a story in which a man's emotions and intent are one-sided to the point of burying another man alive, but the surface events conceal a deeper meaning. One cannot know precisely what motivates Montresor in his quest for revenge.

What is the feeling that dominates Poe's characters?

Poe alludes to the "perversity" that motivates his killers; it is just as accurate to describe the feeling that dominates these characters as a kind of bizarre, grand-scale ambivalence. They love and hate on an exaggerated, almost supernatural plane, in a kind of grotesque manifestation of the irrationality that lies at the heart of human behavior.

What is Fortunato's reaction to Montresor?

Even after Montresor has led him into the niche and chained him, Fortunato's reaction is one of complete bewilderment. He seems to have no idea of what's taking place, or why. Readers must be wary of overinterpretation on this point.

What is Poe's main purpose in the story?

Poe's main purpose, in a story such as this, may be simply to present a horrific occurrence that isn't intended to be looked into as more than an instance of grisly cruelty, a straightforward account of the potential for sadistic violence that is an unfortunate component of human nature.

What is the theme of the Cask of Amontillado?

One theme of Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" is revenge. This should be a fairly obvious theme. Fortunato hurt and wronged Montresor in some way. The reader is not given specific details about it. Montresor vows revenge, and the rest of the story is about the execution of his plan for revenge.

What is the theme of Montresor?

Disguise is a prevalent theme in Poe's story as the characters wear costumes that hide their real appearances, and Montresor hides his true feelings until the end. Certainly, Montresor disguises himself as he lures...

What was the main character's motive in the Cask of Amontillado?

Deeply rooted hatred, revenge and other factors drove the main character Montresor in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” to mercilessly murder his friend Fortunato.

What are the themes of the story of Montresor?

Aside from revenge, other themes which are evident in the story are hatred, envy, deception, and pride. Fuelling the desire to take revenge, Montresor’s hatred for Fortunato pushed him to commit murder. His hate apparently emanated from the occasion when he was disgraced by Fortunato. However, it was not clearly specified what had caused Montresor ...

What is the theme of Luring Fortunato?

Throughout the story, another theme can also be pointed out. Luring Fortunato with a non-existent Amontillado and the manner Montresor had smiled and spoken with Fortunato were noticeably deceiving. The theme of deception played a big role in the story because it had supported the main theme of revenge. It was by deception that Montresor’s revenge was consummated when he had tricked Fortunato that he was in need of his expertise to authenticate his Amontillado when in fact he was really planning to murder him and that in reality there was no Amontillado at all.

What is the theme of Poe's story?

Another theme in Poe’s story is envy. Though it is indirectly stated in that Montresor was envious of Fortunato, it can be concluded that in some ways, Montresor was envious of Fortunato. One aspect that Montresor may have been jealous of Fortunato was that he was famous for his skill and taste in wine.

Who can tell if amontillado is authentic?

In the story, when Montresor mentioned that he was about to consult Luchesi about the Amontillado, Fortunato reacted with great pride that Luchesi cannot tell the difference as though telling Montresor that he was the only one who can determine if the wine was an authentic Amontillado (Poe 333).

What was Montresor's revenge on Fortunato?

Montresor finally had accomplished his revenge against Fortunato when he had finally covered him in the wall wherein he had told Fortunato that the cask of Amontillado was hidden. The cask of sherry had turned out to be the casket for Fortunato and the consummation of revenge for Montresor.

What is the theme of the Cask of Amontillado?

Themes. in. The Cask of Amontillado. Revenge: Amontillado revolves around Montresor’s desire to seek revenge on Fortunato for an unknown crime. Because the “insult” is never revealed, the revenge in this story takes the form of an all-consuming hatred, a vengeance that displaces the original injury and itself becomes a cause.

What was Montresor's goal in the plot?

That, in fact, was the whole purpose of his plot to kill him. He wanted to rid himself of his exceedingly painful inner feelings of resentment and rage. Montresor specified at the beginning that he wanted to achieve the perfect revenge. The last words verify that he has succeeded in doing so to his complete satisfaction.

Why is Montressor in disguise?

Both characters are literally in disguise because it is Carnival, which makes it logistically possible for Montressor to take Fortunato into the catacombs.

What does Montresor confess to Fortunato?

When read in this way, the final line suggests that Montresor confesses this story as a form of repentance.

Why is Montresor's story unclear?

Because of the unclear identity of his audience and the ambiguous final line of the story, it is unclear why Montresor relates this story fi fty years after the fact. For this reason, the story can be read as either the main character taking pride in the success of this murder, or as a way in which the main character repents for his sins.

Why does Poe want to assure the reader that Fortunato is now fully sober?

Poe wants to assure the reader that Fortunato is now fully sober and understands what is happening, why it is happening, and who is making it happen, so that Montresor can have the revenge he wants.

What is the Cask of Amontillado?

Like we mentioned earlier, “The Cask of Amontillado” is a story told in retrospect. An older Montresor is speaking to an unnamed listener, recounting how he killed Fortunato in revenge. Readers know nothing about the listener, only that he’s Montresor’s audience in telling the story.

What is the scariest aspect of the Cask of Amontillado?

Perhaps the scariest aspect of “The Cask of Amontillado” is how far Montresor goes for revenge. In many ways, what Fortunato has done to warrant Montresor’s wrath is immaterial; Poe is more interested in how revenge drives a man to extremes.

Why does Fortunato want to push forward?

But each time, Fortunato says he wants to push forward because he cannot stand Luchresi getting credit for determining whether the Amontillado is authentic. It’s his pride that makes him want to beat Luchresi, but in the end, it’s his pride that makes him lose.

Why does Luchresi follow Fortunato into the catacombs?

Even though he’s drunk and sick, the mention of Luchresi’s name triggers Fortunato’s massive ego. The idea that anyone could be better than him —especially Luchresi, who can’t “tell Amontillado from sherry” —drives him to follow Montresor into the catacombs. Despite wanting to kill Fortunato, Montresor gives his victim many chances to turn back. Montresor cites Fortunato’s cough, saying that it might be best to ask for Luchresi’s help instead.

What does Montresor tell Fortunato about Amontillado?

He tells Fortunato that he was on his way to find Luchresi —another wine connoisseur—to help him determine the wine’s authenticity.

Why did Poe write the Cask of Amontillado?

A more popular theory is that Poe wrote “The Cask of Amontillado” in response to his personal rival, Thomas Dunn English, who had written a scathing critique of one of Poe’s novels. “The Cask of Amontillado” skewers elements from English’s novel, 1844, including making references to the same secret societies and subterranean vaults featured in English’s work.

How many years after the event is the Cask of Amontillado told?

But the story is told in retrospect by the narrator, Montresor, fifty years after the event to an unknown listener (only referred to as “you” in the story). That means that there are actually two different time frames happening in “The Cask of Amontillado.”.

How does Fortunato find the Amontillado?

Fortunato steps into a recess to find the amontillado. Montresor quickly chains him to the wall. Moving aside the pile of bones, Montresor reveals stones and mortar. He starts to wall up the entrance of the recess. Fortunato screams and then implores Montresor to stop.

What does Montresor vow to do to Fortunato?

Montresor vows revenge against Fortunato over an insult, a revenge that he will take at the right time. During a carnival they encounter each other. Fortunato has been drinking. Montresor says he has purchased a cask of amontillado but is uncertain of its quality. He is going to get Luchesi to taste it.

What is Montresor's motivation?

Montresor makes his motivation plain from the start: “. . . when he [Fortunato] ventured upon insult I vowed revenge." The narrator tells us what he thinks the incident to follow was all about. After hearing the full story, the reader can agree that the narrator was reliable on this point.

What is Montresor's personal standard for revenge?

He goes on to outline his personal standard for revenge: "I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser.” To Montresor, true revenge must be free of consequences.

What does "omission" mean in a story?

the lack of a direct acknowledgement of any wrongdoing, and. the lack of an apologetic tone or any asides that justify his actions. Of course, the omission of something by a narrator doesn't mean a particular idea isn't in a story.

Does Montresor regret the murder?

Some readers are uncomfortable with the story if Montresor doesn't regret the murder. This has given rise to interpretations that claim he's sorry for what he did.

Does omission mean a particular idea isn't in a story?

Of course, the omission of something by a narrator doesn't mean a particular idea isn't in a story . Still, if Montresor is recounting this episode to unburden his conscience, he doesn't seem to make an effort to show any contrition. I would expect a remorseful narrator to express this unambiguously, if he was in his right mind.

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Ambivalence

  • Ambivalence might be an unexpected theme for a story in which a man's emotions and intent are one-sided to the point of burying another man alive, but the surface events conceal a deeper meaning. One cannot know precisely what motivates Montresor in his quest for revenge. Poe leaves the reader in the dark regarding the "thousand injuries" to which Montresor has been subj…
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Self-Delusion

  • Montresor, whatever the reality or unreality of Fortunato's wrongs perpetrated against him, is duping himself. He begins with an extended statement, like a postulate, on the nature of vengeance and the proper way of enacting it against a foe. He says a wrong is "unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to the one who has wronged him." Yet he never tel…
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Substance Abuse

  • The theme of alcoholism and substance abuse in general is so prevalent and so natural in Poe that it can sometimes be overlooked. "The Cask of Amontillado" takes place during Carnival, a time of revelry and drunkenness. Not only is Fortunato drunk when Montresor lures him to the catacombs, but the bait is a cask of wine. Ironically, Fortunato seems...
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Irrationality

  • Though Fortunato finally pleads, "For the love of God, Montresor!" until this point his reaction to being walled up alive has been muted, to say the least. He does not seem aware of what's happening, or to care. It defies human reason for even a drunken man to act this way. He may believe at first that the whole thing is a joke, as he says, "An excellent jest! We shall have many a …
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Hypocrisy

  • Poe's exploration of hypocrisy occurs on several levels. Montresor is the ultimate hypocrite in presenting himself to Fortunato as a friend when, in reality, he hates him. He seeks revenge, but the honorable and honest way of achieving it, in the context of the time and place, would be to challenge him to a duel, or at least confront him openly in a less violent manner. Instead, he feig…
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Nihilism

  • A corollary of the theme of hypocrisy involves the story's alleged moral. Poe's works are at least implicitly nihilistic, given that he repeatedly shows the most amoral of characters acting out their fantasies without regard for the lives and feelings of others. At times, in “The Black Cat” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the killer is caught, and retribution, the reader is to understand, will follow. But i…
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9 hours ago What are some themes of The Cask of Amontillado? The main themes in “The Cask of Amontillado” are ambivalence, self-delusion, and substance abuse. Ambivalence: Readers are …

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