Last Updated 10 Mar 2020

The Cask of Amontillado

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The Cask of Amontillado” Unexpected Endings In “The Cask Of Amontillado” there are several themes shown throughout the short story. There are only two main characters in the story, and each shows their way of betrayal. The entire story is based on betrayal, and lies. Fortunado is betrayed by Monresor, who in the end, kills this intoxicated man. Montresor was supposedly betrayed by Fortunado, a story of which we are never told. Finally, we as the reader are betrayed by the narrator, because we are given so few details and logic to back up the story.

Fortunado, Montresor, and the reader are betrayed throughout the short story, “The Cask Of Amontillado”. Throughout the story, Montresor betrays Fortunado. He asks Fortunado to come into his catacombs aware that he would be killing him. He taunts Fortunado by asking him if he want to go back, because he is sick. Montresor does so when saying “‘Come,’ I said, with decision, ‘we will go back; your health is precious…’” (Poe 535) However, when Fortunado insists he comes to taste the amontillado, he is once again betrayed by Montresor when he drinks more of his wine.

He becomes overly intoxicated and once again, is able to be taken advantage of. The entire walk through the catacombs Montresor betrays Fortunado by lying to him and taunting him about being sick. At the end of the story Montresor traps Fortunado by building him into a small shackled space. “A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me back violently” (Poe 536). According to Chad Dyer “The story is written in the form of confession, its reader learning of Montresour’s vengeful deed fifty years after its execution. " (Dyer).

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When Montresor kills Fortunando he commits not only a huge crime but a betrayal that is unbelievable to most people. Furtunado is a simpler, less obvious betrayer. He is mentioned in the very beginning cause a “thousand injuries” (Poe 533) causing Montresor to “vow upon revenge” (Poe 533). Despite all the wrongdoing of Montresor, Fotunado was the beginning, and cause of it all. “It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunado cause to doubt my good will” (Poe 533). As the editorial team on Shmoop claims, “Fortunado betrays himself by not paying enough attention to his surroundings”. Shmoop Editorial Team). Fortunado was so severely intoxicated he didn’t stop to notice the dead bodies surrounding him in the catacombs, not the fact that he was with a man he has never been friendly with. He allowed himself to continually drink from the wine his enemy was providing without even the thought that it could be deadly. In the beginning of the story, Montresor tells us “The thousand injuries of Furtunado I had borne as best I could... ” (Poe 533) We however are never given any type of proof of what Fortunado had done to hurt Montrsor as much as he claims.

We are never given an explanation, or even a slight clue of the wrongdoing Fortunado had caused. This leaves one to suggest that maybe the narrator was telling us a complete lie. The story was written to keep us guessing. Throughout the entire walk through the catacombs, we had no clue what they were truly walking through. We were given vague descriptions of the bodies lining the walls. When he describes building the brick wall to trap Furtunado, he describes it in a very undetailed description. Montresor shows betrayal, as well as Fortunado, and the narrator.

This proves it to be a common theme throughout the story. It is shown through Montresor when he betrays Fortunado multiple times. When he kills Fortunado, he lies to him throughout the story, and plans to kill him before he even agrees to drink wine with him. Fortunado’s betrayal, although never explained, is the beginning of all the betrayal throughout the story. He has hurt Montresor in a way so badly Montresor feels his only escape it to kill Fortunado. As the reader were betrayed throughout the entire story.

We are told multiple things throughout the story, but nothing is ever proven. We have to assume the narrator is telling us the truth. The theme betrayal is shown dramatically through Poe’s eyes.

Works Cited Dyer, Chad M. Edgar Allen Poes The Cask Of Amontillado. Diss. Ball State, 1992. N. p. : n. p. , n. d. Web. <https://cardinalscholar. bsu. edu/bitstream/handle/190175/1/D94_1991DyerChadM. pdf>. Poe, Edgar A. The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2003. Print. Riggs, Kait.

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