Theme Of Pride In The Cask Of Amontillado

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Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado,” is about vengeful pride and hateful revenge. It is a tale of how the main character, Montresor, having been insulted numerous times, plots to murder his friend, Fortunato. The hierarchy of conflict between the two men are the insults, then the issue of Montresor murdering an upper-classmen like himself, and lastly, the faint hint of sympathy by Montresor when he hears Fortunato’s pleas for pity. The theme of the story is pride, and it is Montresor’s vengeful pride that produces revenge in his soul. This essay will analyze the relation of the theme of pride and how it produced the trait of revenge, as well as examine how the characteristic of vengeful pride can breed treachery, hypocrisy, …show more content…
The pride that fills him also brings out the characteristic of honor. He is pleased to show Fortunato his family’s coat of arms, which he says is, “A huge human foot d’or, I a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel” (868). Fortunato then asks what is the motto means, and Montresor tells him, “Nemo me impune lacssit,” which translates to, “No one harms me unpunished,” (868). Two things are made clear by the coat of arms and the motto: Montresor comes from a long line of family that believes in getting even with anyone who hurts them, and that Fortunato is going to be punished severely. Montresor is excessive in his familial pride which leads him to seek punishment that really does not fit the crime of the insults he accuses Fortunato of committing. As the protagonist, Montresor is a complex-static character because he is composed of many traits such as he is: vengeful, prideful, treacherous, calculating, and lacks compassion. However, throughout the story Montresor does not experience any changes during his quest to get even with Fortunato, thus, he is a static character. Montresor was sought revenge because his pride was attack, and he carried out his revenge in a calculating way, which produced treachery and deceit against …show more content…
Fortunato emerges from a festival already somewhat inebriated but, he is happy to go along with Montresor to test the Amontillado. At this point, Fortunato does not consider Montresor a threat, as he sees Montresor as beneath him and undeserving of his respect; thus, Fortunato is unsuspecting of Montresor’s plan. Montresor offers the happy clown more alcohol as they travel through the cellar. The drinks effect Fortunato’s ability to think straight. There are several events and statements that foreshadow what is in store for him such as when Montresor says, “…he had a weak point-this Fortunato…He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine,” (866). Having met Montresor after consuming a lot of alcohol at the carnival has impaired Fortunato’s thinking in that, at the very least, he does not realize that he has already intoxicated and goes on to drink more at the offering of Montresor. He does not recognize that although he has made insults toward Montresor he is still very friendly with him and greets him graciously (866). His issue of pride goes deeper than just gluttony for alcoholic beverages. His pride is induced by the need to show Montresor that it is he, and he alone, knows a true Amontillado. When Montresor tells him that he asked Luchresi to taste the Amontillado, Fortunato says, “Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry,” (867). His arrogance in believing he alone can

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