The Cask of Amontillado Essay

July 31, 2021 by Essay Writer


Montresor starts the story of “The Cask of Amontillado” by indicating that his friend irreparably offended him and seeks vengeance. He plans to revenge in a calculated way without putting himself at risk with the law. Edgar Allan Poe is famous for using theatrical imagery in the gothic type. The gothic type of literature has an array of conventions.

These include the suggestions of horror, supernatural, and mysterious, alien settings such as fortress as well as the collapsing buildings. The story utilizes graphical language and imagery in the development of a sense of deceptive and persuasive nature and circumstances in the expansion of the symbolic approach of sustaining a condition of suspense.

Analysis and explanation of ‘The Cask of Amontillado’

The imagery selected by Poe in The Cask of Amontillado is critical in furthering the plot of the narrative. The suspense created by the author remains until the end of the story. The cause of the intense abhorrence harbored by Montresor towards Fortunato remains anonymous throughout the story. The narrator does not reveal why he hated Fortunato so much to the extent of leading him to his death.

The lacking information helps the author to add tension. It makes the reader to create acquaintance with the language used by Montresor as he craftily leads Fortunato to his demise. In addition to the creation of a closer concentration to the graphical wording, the author also utilizes imagery to develop a sense of the looming doom. There are two providers of the looming doom and tension.

The prefiguring and satire take root through the composition of the whole narrative. The elements are highlighted by the author through imagery that creates a sense of situation that is engulfed with the overpowering fear for the reader. The narrative heavily depends on expressive wording and imagery to attain a sense of mood that matches the narrative’s sinister plot.

The extensive utilization of sinister imagery is fundamentally successful in creating a dark mood. The author has used color imagery as a central pivot point to question the motives by Montresor. By covering the face with a black silk camouflage, Montresor is not a depiction of the blind fairness but rather the Gothic reverse of prejudiced revenge. On the contrary, Fortunato dresses in the mixed color attire of the court fool.

He is duped plainly and disastrously by Montresor’s camouflaged intentions. The color design in the narrative is the representation of the satire of Fortunato’s fatal sentence. He countenances the comprehension that even the festive period can be gravely serious.

The author selects the festival setting for its desertion of social order. Typically, the festive season signifies pleasant social interaction. However, Montresor alter its joyous abandon and turn the festive mood on its head. The repetitive references to the bones that line the crypt foretell the narrative’s plunge into the criminal world. The two characters’ underground journey is imagery for the journey to hell.

Since the festive mood in the world of the living does not happen as Montresor would wants, he decides to take the celebration mood below the earth within the sphere of the deceased and the satanic. The author further develops suspense through foreshadowing. During the conversation between the two characters, Fortunato states that he shall not die of a cough. In reply to this, Montresor concurs.

It is an indication that he already knows that Fortunato will actually die of thirst and hunger in the vaults. The description of the family insignia is also the foretelling of the upcoming events. The emblem characterizes a human foot squashing a stubborn snake. The foot imagery is a representation of Montresor. The snake symbolizes Fortunato.

Despite Fortunato having Montresor with injurious affront, he will eventually squash him. The talk about Masons also foretells Fortunato’s death. He dares Montresor’s assertion that he is a member of the Masonic order. Montresor responds menacingly with a visible retort. This is apparently depicted when he claims that he is a mason by removing his trowel.

In fact, he meant that he is factually a stonemason. By saying this, he implied that he builds objects out of rocks and mortar. In this context, the imagery is that he will construct Fortunato’s crypt. The closing moments of the talk between the two characters intensify the horror. It proposes that Fortunato will have in the end and paradoxically some kind of advantage and control over Montresor.

From Fortunato’s statement, “For the love of God, Montresor!” he meant that Montresor has finally managed to take Fortunato to the vault of hopelessness and misery. The imagery is pointed to by his incantation of a God that abandoned him long ago. The words are Fortunato’s last expressions in life. The bizarre distress exhibited by Montresor in rejoinder to the words proposes that he requires Fortunato further than he is ready to confess.


The narrative extensively uses imagery to make a variety of communication with the reader. The author uses graphical imagery to create a sense of intrigue to capture the attention of the reader throughout the narrative. By using imagery, the author creates suspense through foreshadowing. The narrative effectively uses Gothic literature to create a sense of fear that accompanies the death of Fortunato.

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