The Cask of Amontilado

January 17, 2017 General Studies

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Edgar Allan Poe is surely a brilliant author, whose remarkable stories surprise their readers on every single step. I must admit, I have not read many of his stories, but the ones I have read made a great impression on me. And it is not different when looking at “The Cask of Amontillado”, because this story also grips the reader.

As this is a horror story, the setting is also adequate. Everything begins in the evening during the carnival season. But the location quickly changes from the places where the festival took place into the damp, dark and portentous catacombs of the Montresors.

In order to start the interpretation, we ought to learn more about the two main characters, Fortunato and Montresor. The first one seems to be a very careless man, without any serious problems. He differs so much from Montresor, who is actually the narrator of story as well as the main character. He pledged revenge upon Fortunato for an insult. He is quite sneaky, cunning and what is of great importance here, inexorable. There is also one more character in the text, Luchesi (or Luchresi in some versions) but he is not that important. He does not actually appear, but is merely mentioned by Montresor and Fortunato.

Still, despite all the things that differentiate Montresor from Fortunato, there is at least one feature that binds them – irony. Although Montresor hates Fortunato like no one else in this world, when he sees him, he addresses him with: “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How remarkably well you are looking to-day”. Also Fortunato behaves as if he liked Montresor, but the truth is slightly different.

The origin of the names is also interesting. Luchesi and Fortunato are obviously Italian. Luchesi could be derived out of the word “lucrative”, and Fortunato out of “fortunate”. The third name, Montresor, is French.

The whole story is based on irony, and this fact is without any doubt. There are numerous examples of verbal irony here.


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