Cask of Amontillado

Essay by brianna1018College, Undergraduate November 2014

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Brianna Chelette

Comp. 1302

"The Cask of Amontillado"

Thesis Statement:

The setting in the cast of Amontillado illustrates a dark, suspenseful, horrifying mood, foreshadows the downfall of Fortunato, offers a broad character analysis, and magnifies the story's ironic context. Montressor plays a major role in establishing a dark mood early on, by exposing the audience to his manic side through narration, "I must not only punish, but punish with impunity." The idea of "supreme madness" accompanied with "one evening, around dusk" illustrates a dark atmosphere, at an otherwise jovial carnival scene. Anxiety emerges in the mood as the men cautiously migrate to the grounds of the catacombs. Poe adds the element of terror to the growing suspense with a growing number of human remains, and toxic mold encrusted crypts, as the characters venture into smaller, and fouler territories.

The audience can assume from Montressor's statement, "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge" that bad luck is likely to come of Fortunato.

Hints of death are present throughout the catacombs, in the form of dead bodies, toxic nitre, and overall condition of the vaults: Perhaps the most obvious clue is Montressor producing the trowel when questioned about masonry, because, the trowel directly connects to the live burial that is to come.

Fortunato is rich, noble, respected, admired, happy, and even feared, according to Montressor. However, Fortunato's pride is overshadowed by his foolishness, and lack of common sense, displayed by his persistence to continue in pursuit of the Amontillado. His ridiculous outfit is not that of a costume, but a representation of his character: "The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by...