Poe's Short Stories

The Cask of Amontillado

Edgar Allan Poe is known for his thrilling tales of madmen, cunning murderers, and intense, claustrophobic situations. "The Cask of Amontillado" is one such tale. From the very beginning of the story, the narrator's unreliable nature shines through his over exaggerated descriptions of how honorable of a man he is, of the wrongs that have been committed against him and the culprit responsible. Throughout the narrator's confession there is foreshadowing. Montresor warns Fortunato to turn back, that the nitre on the walls may worsen his cough, yet at the same time he deceives Fortunato, pretending to be his friend, so that he will never know the reason for Montresor's grotesque deed. Since the story is told in a flashback in the narrator's perspective, we can see more closely the narrator's soul, and can judge how he really feels about his so-called revenge. At the beginning of the story, Montresor relays to the reader some rules of revenge, which by the end of the story are not fulfilled by his actions against Fortunato. Ironically, it seems that Fortunato has had the ultimate revenge that Montresor fantasized about so obsessively. Poe uses these four devices to address the question of whether...

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