The Theme Of Death In A Cask Of Amontillado By Edgar Allen Poe

Great Essays
Starting at a young age, humans know that death is inevitable. There is no escaping the harsh reality that one day, a person might not wake up. We know that death is coming, but we never know when. Our last days could be closely approaching without us even knowing. Yet when we think about our death, most of us do not think about being killed by live entombment. However, this is exactly what happens in Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Cask of Amontillado”. The story is from the point of view of an unreliable narrator, Montresor, who retells an event that takes place earlier in his life when he kills someone who embarrassed him, named Fortunato. This raises the question; what type of person does it take to be able to take someone’s life away from them? Are …show more content…
In the beginning lines we are quickly made aware that the main character, Montresor, has been embarrassed by Fortunato. Montresor says, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge” (226). Since Montresor knows that Fortunato is an avid wine connoisseur, he uses this to his advantage so that he can carry out his plan for revenge. He tricks Fortunato into believing that he has come across a large wine barrel full of Amontillado. With Amontillado being so rare, Fortunato says that he wants to be the one to inspect the barrel. While navigating through Montresor’s family vault, Montresor continuously offers Fortunato different types of wine. By the time the duo is where Montresor has lead Fortunato to believe the Amontillado is, Fortunato is very intoxicated. While Fortunato is being bricked into one of the recesses in the catacombs, he thinks Montresor is playing a joke on him before finally realizing that he is serious. At this point Fortunato starts to plead for his life, but it is too late, Montresor has made up his …show more content…
As Montresor finishes laying his first layer of bricks, Fortunato started to come back to his senses. No longer intoxicated, Fortunato realizes what is going on and hopes for his sake that it is merely a joke.
In the last lines of “A Cask of Amontillado”, Montresor mentions that his “heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so” (231). In saying this, it is easy to see that Montresor is choosing not to deal with the fact that he is about to kill a man. He pushes this aside and claims that it is just because he is not used to the atmosphere of his family’s vault. At this point you have to wonder, is Montresor so upset because Fortunato embarrassed him that he is willing to murder him and leave him behind, or is it something more? Because the story is told from Montresor’s point of view, it is not certain whether he is being factual in his retelling of the event. The way he so meticulously planned every part of his murder plot goes to show that this is not just merely revenge, but that it is proof Montresor has something else going on. It is possible that Montresor is not telling the truth, not because he does not want to, but because it is easier for him to reconcile with the killing of another man. He so simply pushed away the fact when he was finishing walling up the niche, what would stop him from lying

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