“The Cask of Amontillado” is a Gothic fiction by Edgar Allan Poe who develops the theme of pride and revenge to show the motive for Montresor actions and to foreshadow what is to happen in the story.
“The Cask of Amontillado” is told in past tense about a chilling murder Montresor committed 50 years ago. The narrator says the reason for his cruel intentions, was because Fortunato had wronged him for some unknown reason. All we know is that Montresor wants revenge, and he thinks his actions are right and just. As you continue reading, you see that the narrator has gruesome detail on he plans to kill Montresor and how revenge and obsession can dominate a person’s thoughts.
Poes dark style is one of his key trademarks in his writings. “The Cask of Amontillado” is no different. In the story we see how Montresor obsessions continues thru out the story. Montresor family quote “Nemo me impune lacessit” translates to “No one insults me without impunity” This quote is a leading factor to making Montresor obsessed with killing Fortunato who offended him for some reason we are never told. The story begins with “…. The supreme madness of the carnival season”. This quote implies that there is going to madness, irrationals choices are going to be made during that day. Then as the story, the characters get to “…damp catacombs.” The catacombs imply that death will be happening and gives us an image of a resting place for a murder. Montresor’s obsession with killing is also seen within the dialogue of the characters. “I shall not die of a cough” says Fortunato as he walks down to the catacombs.
Revenge has also been seen with the irony in the story. Poe uses dramatic and very irony as a way to add darkness to “The Cask of Amontillado.” An example of dramatic irony is when Fortunato is dressed as a jester and intoxicated when Montresor approaches him at the carnival. We see Montresor be almost exited by Fortunato drunk state. Part of the irony is that Fortunato name means “Good Fortune”. As we learn thru the story, we know Montresor is planning revenge on Fortunato. The irony being that Fortunato will not have good fortune in the story. This irony become apparent after you read the story, because Fortunato fortune is anything but good. An example of verbal irony is how Fortunato uses the word “Ignoramus” to tell of a person. Ignoramus means a stupid and ignorant person. Fortunato is the ignoramus one thou, because he is so ignorant to everything happening around him. Fortunato had many chances to escape death, but never takes the chance. He is to intoxicate to understand the situation. Another example of verbal irony is when Montresor and Fortunato are walking down to the catacombs and Fortunato starts to cough. Montresor keeps asking Fortunato if he would like to turn around. Fortunato replies “I shall not die of a cough” (Poe 63). The irony is that Fortunato won’t die of a cough. He is walking to his death in the catacombs, were Montresor will kill him.