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In the introduction of edgar allan poes short story the cask of amontillado. The the narrator montresor addresses an unspecified audience who knows his soul well montresor explains that ways fortunato has injured and insulted him in the rising action. Montresor vows revenge.
Though fortunato thinks their friends montresor recounts how he runs into fortunato on the streets during carnival season. Fortunato is dressed in motley the traditional costume of a fool or jester and has been drinking montresor tells wine loving fortunato that he has a cask of something he thinks is amontillado a type of sherry and wants to bring it to their friend lucchesi. A wine expert to taste tested.
Fortunato insists. He should be the one to test it montresor leads fortunato to his home empty. Because the servants have gone to karneval and leads fortunato down into his family catacombs.
The to drink and walk with montresor imploring fortunato to turn back and forget about this plan. But fortunato is insistent on continuing. They walk on arm and arm.
Until they reach a dark crypt full of human bones. When fortunato steps further into the crypts montresor chains him to the wall in the climax of the story montresor. Then begins to break up the opening to the crypt entombing fortunato.
As he cries out pleads jokes. Then goes silent in the falling action fortunato screams and begs to be released. But montresor leaves him in the storys resolution montresor recalls that this all happened fifty years ago and then says in latin rest in peace gothic fiction often used complicated narrative structures to heighten the suspense in a story in the cask of amontillado edgar allan poe uses an unreliable murderous narrator in montresor whose rational calculated tricky and cunning luring fortunato into his family catacombs.
But hes clearly not sane. The paragon of a modern sociopath. The montresor family motto and coat of arms also foreshadow retribution the familys latin motto means no one insults me with impunity this entire family takes revenge as its motto and it illustrate this motto with a coat of arms.
Which shows a human foot crushing the snake that bit it montresor is the foot fortunato is the snake who has bitten him po uses several types of irony in the cask of amontillado the characters names create a verbal irony fortunato is the italian version of the latin name meaning fortunate or blessed yet fortunato is anything but fortunate are blessed theres situational irony in fortunato thinking. Hes going to a public carnival party and wine tasting.
But is actually taking you a private crypt to suffer eternally fortunato and montresor can also be read not as separate people. But as doubles or two sides of the same person a psychology driven theme po. Loved the mens names are linked treasure and fortune both are wine connoisseurs both are similar in speech and banter.
Both let loose blood curdling screams in the end the final scene can be read through this lens as a dramatization of repression and denial montresor is blocking away part himself. There are four important characters in the cask of amontillado. The first is the narrator montresor.
Now montresor is a complex and intriguing character whose ire for revenge drives. The story his family motto translated from latin means. No one insults me with impunity po.
Seems to suggest that this seething drive is one that defines his existence. He says. That fortunato has insulted and injured him.
But he never gives any specifics tricking fortunato and including him alive and his family crypt montresor is a cold calculating relentless narrator fortunato first appears in the story wearing a costume specifically motley clothes a gesture or fool would wear these two factors largely frame fortunato as role throughout the story readers experience fortunato through mantra soras narrative. Which is clearly biased and likely insane for tanatos drunken ego greed and come pettit of this cloud his judgment. He thinks his mantra soars friend.
Until its too late lucchesi is a wine expert. Who does not appear in the story in person. But montresor repeatedly mentions him to fortunato pretending.
Hes on his way to see him to ask about the value of the amontillado. He is supposedly found its a lie meant to goad fortunato into descending into his wallace mantra sores servants act as a singular character who does not appear in the story in person montresor. Does not have a high opinion of their work.
Ethic or honesty. He explicitly ordered them not to leave the house fully expecting they would leave as soon as his back was turned to join in the carnival festivities the cask of amontillado is a terrifying short story rife with repeated symbols including the motley the vault.
The montresor family coat of arms and motto and the trowel when montresor runs into fortunato on the street fortunato was wearing multi coloured motley. The costume of jesters are fools in an old form of italian theater complete with a cap with bells on it foolish fortunato a miss clue after clue because of his ego. Which leads to his horrifying fate being entombed alive by his secret enemy as montresor guides fortunato to the vault.
Where he supposedly is storing the amontillado he guides him through a literal palace of death this is the montresor family crypt where members of the family are buried theres an actual mound of bones in the catacomb lured by more wine fortunato stumbles into his demise given the strong association of wine with christian communion. This can also be seen as a dark parody of the christian story of reincarnation unlike jesus fortunato does not return from this dark cave. Alive.
The montresor family has both a coat of arms and a family motto indicating the family is likely well established and noble. The coat of arms is a golden foot on a field of blue crushing a serpent that is biting the heel of the foot. A golden foot.
Underscores. The family self perception they are incredibly important at least to themselves crushing the snake indicates. How central revenge is to their family.
The familys motto and latin translates to no one insults me with impunity. Some sources trace the origin of this motto to the roman emperor julius caesar and like caesar fortune ottos crimes against montresor remain vague the trowel a bricklaying tool evokes the masons. A widespread fraternal organization that started as a medieval guild for stonemasons as the name indicates.
It eventually grew into a more general social organization. Theres a long history of anti masonic suspicions and many stories have circulated about it being a secret society. Even a mystical one these attitudes grew so strong in 1826 that the anti masonic party emerged as a political party in the united states.
The paradox here is that fortunato shows by his hand gesture that he is a member of the organization. But when montresor shows the trowel. He shows he is or will at least act like a literal mason fortunato foolishly reads this as a joke he misses the clue that hell be entombed alive music.
The sinister short story in a cask of amontillado contains a few central themes namely revenge volley of pride and paradox music acclaimed legend of short gothic fiction edgar allan poe explicitly signals that revenge will be the focus of the cask of amontillado montresor fixates on how he plans to enact revenge against fortunato. Frankly it seems like mantra soars entire family is obsessed with it as well based on their motto and coat of arms.
That reinforce this theme. Montresor echoes. The idea of the dramatic monologue in poetry.
And the monologues of shakespeares plays. Where the villain reveals himself to his audience and his commitment to revenge is powerful and all consuming. This is a man who keeps track of how other people insult him and how many times.
He plans first to deceive fortunato and then to kill him pride is a central motivation in this story and bullish pride is one of the themes that affects both main characters. Throughout montresor concludes. He must have revenge on fortunato.
Because of his wounded pride fortunato may be full of himself and a bit foolish. But nothing in this story suggests any of the thousand injuries he did to montresor were intentional they might not even be real offenses instead they might be montresor placing value on his pride. And his familys legacy of being proud.
So highly that he takes offense even when none is meant or given fortunato. Foolish pride is central to this story dressed for a party as a fool. Notably and clearly having plans he abandons them all in the flash as soon as montresor mentions.
Asking lucchesi about the wine. His outsized pride continues to motivate him throughout the story fortunato is clearly sick. He has an absolutely terrible cough.
But instead of protecting his health. He insists on going deeper into the catacombs spurred on by the folly of drinking carelessly music. The carnival season is a time of paradox.
When the normal social order is turned upside down and this can take many forms in christian cultures. Where the church preaches sobriety carnival is a time of revelry where extravagant excess is allowed in monarchies subjects must show respect to the king.
But during carnival disrespect is allowed even encouraged some carnival celebrations crown their own temporary kings and kings played the role of peasant by setting the story during carnival poe establishes the possibility for this sort of inversion to happen and it does a friend turns into a killer. A wine cellar into a tomb and so on there are also other paradoxes in this story. Its a paradox that mattress or hates fortunato.
But pretends to be his close friend also mantra sword is sure his servants arent home precisely. Because he ordered them to stay home later on fortunato refers to the masons who are now only metaphorical stonecutters. But in the story montresor is a literal mason bricking fortunato his family crypt entombing him alive music underscoring edgar allen poes legendary scary story.
The cask of amontillado are three central motifs dampness masquerade and wine. The dampness of the dark crypt. A setting typical to gothic literature.
Enhances. The storys mood and tension and it also intensifies for tornados illness. Montresor repeatedly points out the danger of the dampness to fortunato knowing that his ego will cause him to disregard the warnings and compel him onward.
Hey. He warned him the motif of masquerade illuminates. A tradition that provides the freedom to abandon reality invert social norms and cross boundaries.
All of which speak to events in the story. Fortunato z. masquerading sees him dressed in carnival.
Attire. That reveals his true nature as a fool and throughout the story montresor masquerades as fortune ottos friend in order to draw him into the crypt and expose his true murderous intentions. Because of wines role in christian communion its motif is one strongly associated with life and red wine in particular is associated with blood therefore.
In offering the rare amontillado montresor is offering fortunato a chance at a wonderful life pretending. Hes taking the bottle to a mutual friend whos a wine expert in order to identify it prideful fortunato insists on being the one to try it and that begins him down the path that leads to his own entombment wine is both fortune ottos enticement and his downfall you .
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