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The Cask Of Amontillado

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The characters in the short story, The Cask of Amontillado are quite intriguing. The antagonist, Amontillado has a rather flat character trait, but interestingly enough, so does Fortunado as none of them wavered in their ways. It becomes obvious in the beginning that the character is seeking revenge, although we are not quite sure how he is going to accomplish this or why. I believe that Fortunado, the protagonist in this short story, has done wrong not only to Amontillado, but also to Amontillado's family name by somehow causing his family's demise. I believe that the evidence lies in the subtleties of Edgar Allan Poe's writing. It seems that Fortunado wronged Amontillado and his family a long time ago. His family seems to have considered the feud over and settled, but Amontillado has not. Amontillado's family motto "Nemo me impune lacessit" being echoed once in his narrative stating, "I must not only punish, but punish with impunity" then in the line, "The Montressors were a great and numerous family" are directed at Fortunado rather than to him, as if he were the cause of his family being there.

Amontillado gives Fortunado many opportunities to apologize for his wrong doings but he never obliges. Fortunado is unfortunately too pompous to realize what is going on and because of that, meets his intended end. There is much irony in the fact that Fortunado was foolish not to realize all the signs leading to his death and he was dressed as a fool. There is also irony in that Fortunado now spends eternity with the family that he has wronged.

The setting begins amidst the festivities of a Mardi Gras type party, where most are dressed in costume. It is therefore a perfect setting for murder, as most have masks on and it would be hard to distinguish features and characteristics of a single person. Setting later changes to the catacombs under the city, where interring occurs. Amontillado is essentially leading Fortunado from his happy go lucky life where there is wine, dancing and festivities, down to the "bowels of hell" where death and desolation



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