The Cask Of Amontillado Literary Analysis

1374 Words6 Pages
“The Cask of Amontillado” is arguably one of Edgar Allen Poe’s greatest works when it comes to a psychological thriller. Throughout the entirety of the story we see what is happening through the eyes of the wicked killer, Montresor, as he lures his clueless victim, Fortunato, to what would become his grave. Never is it explicitly stated why Montresor killed Fortunato, only how, but if one can analyze the story closely a conclusion can be reached. The first person narration of the story makes it even easier to see into the mind of Montresor and put the pieces of the puzzle together. With psychological analysis of “The Cask of Amontillado” and close examination of the setting and symbols within the story, Montresor’s motive for killing Fortunato…show more content…
When asked for a sign Montresor produces a trowel from under his executioners’ coat, “It is this” (Poe 168) he says. Fortunato then sees the very instrument of his demise and brushes it off as a joke. The trowel may have meant nothing to Fortunato but to Montresor it is his revenge and he risks unveiling his plan to further hint at Fortunato of what is to come. The family crest of the Montresor’s is also highly significant. The crest is “A huge human foot d’or , in a field of azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.”(Poe 167) The motto that accompanies this crest is “nemo me impune lacessit.”(Poe 167) which means “no one provokes me with impunity”. This explains why Montresor is so bent on exacting his revenge on Fortunato; it’s in his blood. Fortunato, embodying the fool he is dressed as, replies to hearing this by saying “Good!” (Poe 167) The revelation of Montresor’s coat of arms truly was “a warning that Fortunato ha (d) ignored.”(Baraban 3), costing him his life. Even the names of the characters in Poe’s work are symbolic. “Fortunato” means fortunate; somebody who is graced by chance without their own doing. “Montresor” translates to “my treasure” which “…is a metaphor for Montresor’s noble ancestry (which is) indeed his treasure.”

More about The Cask Of Amontillado Literary Analysis

Open Document