The story of The Cask of Amontillado starts when Montresor declares that Fortunato insulted him, and he intends to retaliate. The main character is taking his revenge one step at a time so as not to endanger himself. He decides to use Fortunato’s penchant for booze to get an advantage over the latter. During the carnival season, Fortunato is addressed by Montresor, a figure clads in a black silk mask. This moderate Spanish sherry from Spain looks quite similar to Amontillado when it arrives at Fortunato’s door. A pyramidal hat with bells and brightly colored clothing distinguishes Fortunato (Italian for “fortunate”) from the rest of the crowd during his performance. Montresor informs Fortunato that he will seek the help of a person called Luchesi after realizing that he would be unable to taste the wine himself. The discussion of the three main works of Poe will show the changes in human thoughts when they meet unpredictable problems in their lives, and what interpretations they have in every story.
The Deep Analysis of The Cask of Amontillado
A few days before the appointed meeting time, Montresor sent his employees to the carnival as part of his thorough preparations for this gathering. Niter, a white mineral found in abundance in the region, covers the damp vaults as the two men make their way through. The niter in Fortunato’s system appears to be causing him to cough up a lot of mucus. The narrator continues to offer to take Fortunato home as soon as he indicates he does not want to (Zhang). During this time, the men continue their hunt for the Montresor family’s skeleton remains in the subterranean vaults. He claims that he has lost the family coat of arms and motto in response to these mysterious communications (Zhang). Fortunato claims to have forgotten these things since boyhood times.
Fortunato makes a strange hand movement once they arrive at the end of their voyage, which turns out to be a hidden Masonic insignia. Although he claims to be a Mason, Montresor is entirely unfamiliar with this hand gesture. By displaying the trowel when Fortunato questions Montresor’s credentials, Montresor leads Fortunato to believe that Montresor is an actual stonemason in the making. He tells Fortunato that he must be joking, and the two men continue on their journey as if nothing happened. The individuals go inside a crypt with human bones adorning three of the four walls while looking around. We have decided to rid of any fourth wall bones by burying them (Zhang). Amontillado is reportedly stored in a small nook in a bare wall, according to Montresor, who informs Fortunato about it. Fortunato is taken to the rear of the break after becoming inebriated. To Fortunato’s astonishment, Montresor happens behind him and ties him to the stone.
Given Fortunato’s readiness to flee, Montresor takes the proper precautions to seal the entrance to this little crypt, therefore locking Fortunato within its confines. Fortunato exclaims, “What are you talking about?” as Montresor starts to erect the first layer of the wall. Alcohol starts to take its impact on Fortunato, as well as he cries in despair as he is left impotent (Hoang 36). Fortunato gets increasingly difficult to talk to as the layers build up around him. A chuckle comes out of Fortunato’s mouth at the exact moment as the end of Montresor, but Montresor is not pulling a trick on him. The cry of “For the love of God, Montresor!” was answered (Hoang 39). Montresor yells out his adversary’s name twice more before giving up on Fortunato (Hoang 39). Montessori states that his heart is racing because of the moisture of the tombs, although this is not true. Only the jingling of Fortunato’s bells can be heard as he finishes the final stone and plasters the wall shut. He claims that they had not been bothered in 50 years (Zhang). The last words of his eulogy are “May his soul rest in peace,” which is a Latin phrase.
As with many of Poe’s works, the suspense in The Cask of Amontillado is enhanced by the lack of proof to assist Montresor’s allegations that Fortunato had inflicted “a thousand pangs” and “insult” upon him. The novel’s storyline centers on vengeance and clandestine murder. Neither Montresor nor Poe cares about the rule of law, and this is the story’s most horrifying element. The fact that Montessori invents himself in all three of these roles in this novel is another factor that contributes to his unlikability as the main character. However, Montresor confesses that this incident occurred more than fifty years ago. It made the account even less reliable because of the lapse in time between the actual occurrences he claims to have remembered (Hoang 43). Montresor’s unreliability prioritizes the fair evaluation of evidence, such as particular instances of insult that would undoubtedly precede any guilty conviction in a world without Poe. In the film The Cask of Amontillado, the concept of subjective interpretation is pushed to its most harrowing conclusion, as various people’s interpretations of the same incident vary greatly.
Montresor’s purpose is examined in this piece via the use of color imagery by Poe. Due to his black silk mask, which covers his face, Montresor is not blind to justice; however, rather, the Gothic polar opposite: prejudiced revenge (Zhang). When it comes to Montresor, Fortunato is dressed up as a court fool in gaudy colors, and he is deceived physically and tragically throughout the play. The color palettes utilized here reflect the irony found in Fortunato’s death sentence. Fortunato, which means “the lucky one,” is confronted that the character may encounter significant difficulties even during the carnival season.
The carnival is presented from an unusual perspective, and Montresor indicates the breakdown in societal order. The human brain understands the meaning of carnival as an entertaining activity that brings positivity (Hoang 41). Nevertheless, Poe shows how Montresor changes the concept’s meaning, which can apply to other stories provided by the author. Ordinary events are shown in a different form that the brain does not always perceive correctly.
Poe presents unethical actions in his stories that become justified, which is the common theme in all three works. The author could try to become unique in his ideas and show contradictory thoughts. For instance, in The Tell-Tale Heart, the killer was presented from the ethical aspect, which does not match the representations that the brain generates. Moreover, the darkness and secrecy described in The Fall of the House of Usher are not a usual writing style common to human cognition. Poe’s Philosophy of Composition states that writers should stay clear in their poems, and logical flow is the key aspect of writing a successful work (Zhang). The untypical representation of Montresor in The Cask of Amontillado departs the author from his philosophy due to the darkness and lack of logic.
In conclusion, on the example of the deep analysis of The Cask of Amontillado, the readers can mention the contradiction in thoughts provided by the author. Many unclear aspects provided by Poe cannot be related to the ordinary thinking of the human brain. By analyzing similar works written by the same writer, negative perspectives of diverse aspects of life can be seen, and they usually contradict the philosophy of Poe.
Hoang, To Mai. “Indirect Influence in Literature: The Case of Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, and Han Mac Tu.” Comparative Literature: East & West, vol. 5, no. 1, 2021, pp. 29–45., Web.
Zhang, Xiaoli. “Exploration of Gothic Elements in Allen Poe’s the Fall of the House of Usher.” Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 2022.