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The Act of Revenge, The Cask of Amontillado Essay

Oct 13, 2008   #1
I feel I have all of the guidelines, so I don't really need help with that. But if someone could just look over the grammar and point out anything that needs to be corrected then I would be very grateful.

"The Act of Revenge"
In Edgar Allan Poe's "A Cask of Amontillado" we learn of a man who seeks vengeance on an acquaintance, named Fortunato, who irreparably insulted him. "THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge." (1) The story starts by defining a grudge that Montresor holds against Fortunato, and then goes on to explain that Montresor seeks vengeance in an impunitistic way. Leading Fortunato deep into his family's catacomb on a quest for a sherry known as Amontillado, Montresor's idea of plastering Fortunato into a brick sepulcher quickly becomes a reality. Once ensnared, Fortunato was left to die. His tomb was left untouched for years to come. We learn in the story that revenge is a dish best served cold.

The theme of revenge in the story is strongly advised. The story begins with Montresor explaining the he has been irreparably insulted. Every time he sees his wrong doer he acts as if there is no grudge held, when in reality Fortunato's insult is all but forgotten. Montresor lives as if there has been no wrong doing, until he ponders up what he feels is the perfect impunitistic act of revenge. "I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong." (1) Once his plan has been thought of as an act of impunity Montresor acts. Leading Fortunato away from the carnival and deep into the catacombs of his family, Montresor's plan of revenge quickly falls into place.

The characters costumes and names play a major role of setting the theme. We find that Fortunato is ironically named. Fortunato, closely resembling the word fortunate, actually ends up being very unfortunate in the story. He is manipulated by Montresor and gets buried alive. Fortunato wears a jest costume as well, full with the cap and bells. This provides early signs that Fortunato is going to become the fool of the story, and also shows the reader a bit about his playful personality. Montresor wears a silk black mask along with a roquelaire showing the readers that he is the dark manipulative figure in the story. Leading Fortunato deep into his family's catacombs, Montresor plasters Fortunato into a brick grave, and leaves him there to die.

Setting played a huge role in identifying the theme as well. The story starts with Montresor running into Fortunato at a carnival that everyone attended. I feel the carnival in the story represents Montresor's actions towards Fortunato. Montresor has been holding a grudge towards Fortunato for a while, yet Fortunato has no idea that a grudge is being held. Just as a carnival puts on a show for its audience, Montresor puts on a show for Fortunato acting as if everything is fine between them. "You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat."(1) As the story progresses into the catacombs of Montresor's family we begin to see the real feelings that Montresor possesses. I feel the cold dark catacombs of Montresors family represent the cold dark feelings that we see Montresor really holds for Fortunato. In the end we find the catacombs do not just hold a pipe of rare amontillado, but we find they hold the fate of Fortunato as well. "In pace requiescat!"(1)

Overall, I feel the writing style of "The Cask of Amontillado" is very original and well thought out. From the costumes to the setting I feel that every aspect of the story contributed greatly with explaining the theme. Not only did it show us the theme of revenge but it showed us we will never know what even the friendliest of people are thinking until ones pushes them to a breaking point. I feel that the author intended on providing the reader with a sense of insanity using a first person unreliable point of view. By allowing the audience to see what the narrator sees and thinks, the audience gathers a bond with the character. The audience then has the capability of tapping into the insane characters mind.

In conclusion, I find that every aspect of the story was very well thought out, from the setting to the costumes, the structure of the story, and the actions of the characters. From the beginning to the end I was strongly intrigued and couldn't help but to feel anticipation, wondering what the final retribution of Fortunato's wrong doing was going to be.

Good afternoon.

Just a few thoughts.

First, double check you citation style as to inline citations. I may be wrong, but your inline citation should look like this:

"The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge" (1).

"The theme of revenge in the story is strongly advised." What do you mean by "advised"? Is this what you mean? It doesn't seem to fit very well. How does one "advise" a theme?

I suggest either reworking the conclusion to be an original paragraph, or make the next to last paragraph the conclusion, as the last section seems to be a redundant follower to the previous one.

Moderator, EssayForum.com
Oct 15, 2008   #3
I changed advised to implicated and I deleted the last paragraph. With the inline citations I was changing them until the "In pace requiescat!"(1). Would this look right?

"In pace requiescat!" (1)


"In pace requiescat" (1)!

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