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"Irony and Foreshadowing in “The Cask of Amontillado”"
Irony and Foreshadowing in “The Cask of Amontillado”
Justin Rech
"The Cask of Amontillado" is one of Poe's best-known tales of horror. It is

primarily about pride and revenge. "The Cask of Amontillado" is a pretty

straightforward story of crime and guilt, of conscience and suffering, and of a

man who cannot repent for his sin; a man who enjoyed killing his victim, and

enjoys reliving the memory. The story begins with the main character,

Montressor, presumably old and on his death bed, attempting a confession to a

nameless priest. Yet, as he begins to tell his story, in great detail, we sense that

there is no contrition or sorrow for the crime, and thus there will be no

forgiveness. The crime the main character committed was the murder of an

acquaintance who wounded only his pride.

In the story, the narrator states that he has been insulted by an

acquaintance by the name of Fortunato, and he seeks revenge. He wants to do

so in a measured way, without any risk to himself, and indeed hatches just such

a plan to exact his retribution. Montressor decides to use Fortunato's fondness

for Italian wine against him.

During the carnival season, the narrator approaches Fortunato, telling him

that he has acquired something that could pass for Amontillado (a light Spanish

sherry). He tells Fortunato that since he was not around, a man named Luchesi

tasted it. Fortunato is apparently competitive with Luchesi and claims that this

man could not "tell Amontillado from Sherry." Fortunato is anxious to taste the

wine and to determine for Montressor whether it is Amontillado or not. Fortunato

insists that they go to the narrator's vaults.

When the two men arrive at the narrator's house, no servants are around.

They descend into the vaults, which are very damp and full of nitre, which makes

Fortunato cough. The narrator keeps offering to bring Fortunato back home, but

Fortunato refuses. The men go deep into the long vaults, which are full of the

dead bodies...

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"Irony and Foreshadowing in “The Cask of Amontillado”." Jun 24, 2018
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Literature / English
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