The Cask of Amontillado Analysis Essay
Rivals within the words of Montresor It has been a distinct style of Edgar Allan Poe to use the protagonist’s point of view in conveying his stories. A couple of his works that were carried out using this method were Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart. These stories were carried out similarly with how The Cask of Amontillado was carried through by Poe. There have been a number of interpretations as to what inspired Poe in writing the short story and conveying the story through the killer’s point of view. Is it Poe’s way to address the indirect attacks being brought upon his credibility? Could these short stories be a glimpse of what Poe thinks of his rival’s attack towards him (Hallqvist & Womack)?
Montresor is the protagonist in the story. He conveyed the story line of a murder bound to happen. Fortunato, the man that the protagonist murdered at the end of the story, was once a friend of Montresor. As I read through the short story, it seemed that Fortunato caused a number of injuries and hardships against his murderer which made Fortunato deserve the unexpected immolation. This act was done to carry out the family motto. The murderer befriended his victim so that his motives will be hidden and the act will be performed with least suspicions (Poe 1-5).
In most of the stories that I have read, there were clear distinctions of what the answers would be for the reader’s every question. This is not the case for this Poe classic short story. I think that what makes this story interesting than its contemporaries is that Poe left the most important question unanswered. What was the exact motivation for Montresor to murder Fortunato? The details were laid since the beginning of the story. The readers will not miss who were the murderer and the victim. Same goes with where, when and how the murder was committed. As I was reading the story, it seemed that Poe left out the most important part again. Why was the murder committed? If Poe was speaking through the character of the protagonist, why did not he disclose any information about why a person’s life should be ended?
As I analyze the text, the theme of the story seemed to reflect Poe’s concept of retaliation towards his rivals, Thomas Dunn English in particular. English was brought into life in the character of Fortunato while it was Montresor who characterized Poe. Montresor said, “I must not only punish but punish with impunity (Poe 1).” This line seems to motivate the murderer and justify the act which is needed to be done. However, I think that this line was truly meant for Poe’s self as he did not take responsibility for what was written in retaliation to all that was brought up to him and his reputation. As Poe attacked the actions of English in this story, Poe was free from any responsibility for the actions that he carried out against his rivals. He was able to criticize all that was written against him without people suspecting that the retaliation was directed to them (Silverman 310-13).
In conclusion, Poe’s perspective regarding his enemies can be analyzed in the manner by which he conceptualized The Cask of Amontillado. Although the author could not and would not act upon the conceptions of his mind, I do believe that Poe was able to successfully convey his revolting feelings through the criminal mind of the main character.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Cask of Amontillado. BookSurge, LLC. 2004.
Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. 1st ed. New York: Harper Perennial. 1992.
Womack, Martha & Hallqvist, Christoffer. Edgar Allan Poes “The Cask of Amontillado.” 2001. .