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The Cask of Amontillado: (Edgar Allen Poe Classics Collection)

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The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat.At lengthI would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled-but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. I mus The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat.At lengthI would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled-but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. 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. It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smilenowwas at the thought of his immolation. He had a weak point-this Fortunato-although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity-to practise imposture upon the British and Austrianmillionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack-but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially: I was skillful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could."


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The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat.At lengthI would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled-but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. I mus The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat.At lengthI would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled-but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. 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. It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smilenowwas at the thought of his immolation. He had a weak point-this Fortunato-although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity-to practise imposture upon the British and Austrianmillionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack-but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially: I was skillful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could."

30 review for The Cask of Amontillado: (Edgar Allen Poe Classics Collection)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Russell

    The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe is a classic tale of revenge. Since there are dozens of posts here, my review will take a particular slant: what German pessimistic philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer has to say about the psychology of revenge and how the revengeful narrator in Poe’s tale relates to Schopenhauer’s insights. Schopenhauer says we all suffer as the result of nature or chance but, as humans, we recognizes that is simply the way life works. He then writes, “Suffering caused by t The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe is a classic tale of revenge. Since there are dozens of posts here, my review will take a particular slant: what German pessimistic philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer has to say about the psychology of revenge and how the revengeful narrator in Poe’s tale relates to Schopenhauer’s insights. Schopenhauer says we all suffer as the result of nature or chance but, as humans, we recognizes that is simply the way life works. He then writes, “Suffering caused by the will of another, on the other hand, includes a quite peculiar and bitter addition to the pain or injury itself, namely the consciousness of someone else’s superiority, whether in point of strength or of cunning, together with that of one’s own impotence.” It’s that person to person dynamic that gives us the real sting; someone intentionally shoves or hits us, humiliates or insults us, and, for whatever reason, we simply take it. This is what happened in the aristocrat-narrator’s mind – he was insulted by Fortunato. I say ‘in the aristocrat-narrator’s mind’ since we as readers don’t know if Fortunato actually intended to insult him. Schopenhauer sees two phases of compensation for the person who has suffered at the hands of another. 1) direct and legal – a stranger hits us and we take him to court and win a settlement 2) revenge – to deal with the psychological afterglow of the stranger’s blow. Here are his words: “Recompense, if possible, can cure the injury done; but that bitter addition, the feeling ‘and that is what I have to put up with from you’ which often hurts more than the injury itself, can be neutralized only by revenge.” The narrator says his is not of a nature to merely threat. Being an aristocrat himself, that is, someone who is accustom to living life and having life on his own terms, he will not even consider direct or legal action or a mere threat. His first step is revenge, and a revenge where he will never be discovered or punished for exacting his revenge and a revenge where Fortunato will be fully aware he is the avenger. Here is the payoff for the avenger as Schopenhauer sees it: “By returning the injury, either by force or by cunning, we demonstrate our superiority over him who has injured us and thereby annul the proof he gave of his superiority over us. Thus the heart acquires the satisfaction it thirsted for. Where, consequently there is much pride or much vanity, there will also be much reveangefulness.” This is where the philosopher’s insights fit the characters in Poe’s tale like a finely made Italian glove. Fortunato is a pompous aristocrat, a man full of himself, a man who, in the course of the story, calls another man by the name of Luchresi an ignoramus since Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry. The narrator, in turn, with his vaults and wines, his family crest and family motto, is filled to the brim with pride and vanity. And as he locks Fortunato to the damp wall and seals him up in the cold, dark nave, we as readers get the feeling his revenge is as sweet as sweet can be. As Alfred Hitchcock said, “Revenge is sweet and not fattening.” Schopenhauer’s words on the psychology of the avenger are penetrating. He writes, “But, as every fulfilled desire reveals itself more or less as a delusion, so does that for revenge. Usually the pleasure we hoped for from it is made bitter by the pity we afterwards feel; indeed, an exacted revenge will often subsequently break the heart and torment the conscience; we no longer feel the motivation which drove us to it, but the proof of our wickedness remains visibly before us.” Poe’s tale ends with the narrator-avenger completing his stone and plaster task and feeling his heart grow sick from the dampness of the catacombs. But this is the rub. He feels his heart grow sick but it this truly caused by the dampness of the catacombs? Might the narrator-avenger experience pity and hear-break and a torment of consciousness in the days, weeks and years to come? If he is not mad, then perhaps; if he is mad, then perhaps not. Since this is a tale written by Edgar Allan Poe, madness is always a real possibility. Thus, we can imagine the narrator-avenger spending his remaining days drinking wine from his vaults with a smug, satisfied smile, knowing there is one more pile of bones in his collection.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated--I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall; I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed--I aided--I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did t ”A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated--I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall; I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed--I aided--I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the clamourer grew still.” The terror of this tale isn’t just in the final act, but in the behavior of the narrator, Montresor. I read this story several times, trying to grasp the level of madness from which he suffers. Is this truly a tale of revenge as he states to us in the beginning, or is it a tale of jealousy fueled by insanity? Poor Fortunato, who is not fortunate at all, believes he is with a friend when he ventures down into the Montresorian Vaults to taste a cask of Amontillado. It is carnival in this unnamed Italian city, and Fortunato is dressed as a fool, and he is so drunk that, though he calls himself a wine expert, I am led to believe he is more of a drunken sod than an connoisseur. Montresor says at the very beginning of this story that he has been insulted by a ”thousand injuries,” all perpetrated by Fortunato. I’ve known a couple of people in my lifetime who considered any slight a major assault against them. It has been almost debilitating for them. Every molehill becomes a mountain in their minds. Most of us just slough those things off like a sprinkle of rain, but to thin skinned people, those slights become a torrential downpour of despair and projected animosity. Montresor believes that Fortunato looks down upon him. There is this moment in the story when the Montresor coat of arms is revealed: a golden foot on a blue background crushing a snake whose fangs are embedded in the foot's heel, with the motto Nemo me impune lacessit ("No one attacks me with impunity"). The question is, depending on how you read this tale, is Montresor the snake being crushed or is he the embedded fangs? Maybe, he is both. Montresor expects Fortunato to insult him, so every odd look or misplaced word from Fortunato becomes a condemnation of his friend, Montresor. Montresor might feel crushed, but he is about to embed his fangs. Fortunato makes a symbolic motion with his arm and discovers that Montresor is not a Mason, though Montresor insists that he is, even showing Fortunato the trowel that is in his hand as proof. Of course, showing the trowel is great foreshadowing for the final act of immurement. The fact that Fortunato does not believe Montresor is further proof that he despises him. Montresor could have enacted his revenge anywhere. It is carnival season. The perfect time for a strangulation, a knifing, a drowning or a bludgeoning, and Fortunato would just be thought of as an unfortunate victim of some ruffians, but Montresor wants something more. He wants Fortunato to forever reside among the bones of his ancestors. He doesn’t just want him dead. He wants to OWN him forever. The revenge, if that is what this is, will never end. Illustration by Harry Clarke. There is this moment when Montresor realizes he isn’t feeling well. ”My heart grew sick on account of the dampness of the catacombs.” At the beginning of this sentence, I’m feeling oddly relieved to discover that he is feeling some remorse, maybe the madness that has taken him over has finally been overcome by some horror at his own actions, but of course, all of that is quickly dispelled by him blaming those feelings on the dampness. There are a couple of points, too, where he suggests to Fortunato that they should turn back, but he tempered each of those suggestions with a prod that would insure that his inebriated friend would want to continue. Is this a demented way to assuage his guilt? Can he convince himself that he tried to save him, but it was Fortunato’s choice to continue to his death? Edgar Allan Poe is most assuredly playing with your mind as he does in most of his stories. He sprinkles little clues that for the discerning reader are there to be discovered. My suggestion is to read this story a few times, and each time, hopefully, a new layer of the story will reveal itself to you. This is an excellent example of Poe and by some people considered his best short story. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Typically this is considered a tale of revenge. I'm going to go out on a limb and argue that it's not. The only notion we have of revenge--of the narrator, Montresor, actually being wronged--comes in the wonderfully vague opening sentence: "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge." It's Montresor himself who insists this is a revenge tale, but of course he's the ultimate unreliable narrator, so we shouldn't take him at his Typically this is considered a tale of revenge. I'm going to go out on a limb and argue that it's not. The only notion we have of revenge--of the narrator, Montresor, actually being wronged--comes in the wonderfully vague opening sentence: "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge." It's Montresor himself who insists this is a revenge tale, but of course he's the ultimate unreliable narrator, so we shouldn't take him at his word. Notice that we get not a single detail concerning any of these injuries or insults. Typically you'd expect someone plotting revenge to stew over all those little details ad nauseam. Instead, we only know that Fortunato is a wine connoisseur and that "[i]n painting and gemmary Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack." It seems that, at some level, Montresor simply doesn't like Fortunato (or perhaps doesn't like all Italians, especially Fortunato) and decides to kill him for no other reason than that. You also get the sense that Fortunato is more successful than the narrator (his name, Fortunato, isn't particularly subtle), so perhaps the killing is simply the result of jealousy. There's also that wonderful scene where Fortunato makes a Masonic sign, which the narrator doesn't understand (and call "grotesque"), and Montresor replies by producing a trowel from beneath his clothes and saying he's a mason, too. A grim joke, but one that points again to the jealousy burning inside him. OK, enough argument! The most important point is that this a wonderfully macabre tale that reprises several of Poe's major themes. I won't spoil the ending. I'll just say that it's a tale that leaves you thinking long after the reading is done. Not just thinking, but feeling: the damp caverns, the piles of bones, and the ever thickening "nitre" that "hangs like moss upon the vaults."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Possibly my favorite Edgar Allen Poe story! Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature: Our narrator Montresor, an Italian nobleman, explains ― in a suspiciously vague way ― how his friend Fortunato has mortally offended and insulted him. Montresor sets himself on a course of implacable revenge … but he wants to do so in a way that Fortunato understands that Montresor is the source of revenge, but without being caught or punished. Montresor and Fortunato meet during a carnival festival ― whi Possibly my favorite Edgar Allen Poe story! Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature: Our narrator Montresor, an Italian nobleman, explains ― in a suspiciously vague way ― how his friend Fortunato has mortally offended and insulted him. Montresor sets himself on a course of implacable revenge … but he wants to do so in a way that Fortunato understands that Montresor is the source of revenge, but without being caught or punished. Montresor and Fortunato meet during a carnival festival ― which at first seems by chance, but then you find out that Montresor has set up the situation so that all of his servants are gone (he told them that he would be out all night, but that they were NOT permitted to leave, and counted on the lure of the carnival to do the rest). Montresor tells Fortunato that he has bought a cask of fine Amontillado sherry at full price, but he isn’t certain if it’s the real thing. Fortunato, a connoisseur of old wines, volunteers to taste it. And so the two go (Montresor first donning a mask) to Montresor’s palazzo and then into the depths of its damp catacombs hung with white webs of nitre, Montresor protesting all the time that his friend really shouldn’t come, but all the time luring him in like an evil-hearted spider … “The Cask of Amontillado” is one of Poe’s truly memorable horror stories, a tale of vengeance, and more enigmatic and complex than it appeared to me on first read, many years ago. Poe, as always, is great at atmosphere and setting. It’s a tense revenge tale with some black humor, and some interesting ambiguities about guilt. There are so many ironic and symbolic details that add depth to the story: The irony of Fortunato’s name, the “supreme madness of the carnival season” that echoes the narrator’s mental state, the fool costume that Fortunato is wearing at the carnival, and many more. “Montresor” could be translated from French as “my treasure”; it leads one to mull over what exactly is the narrator’s treasure. Free to read online many places, including here. One of my favorite Ray Bradbury stories, Usher II (part of his Martian Chronicles story collection) is in part a tribute to "The Cask of Amontillado."

  5. 5 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 4+ of 5 stars to The Cask of Amontillado, a Gothic short story written in 1846, by Edgar Allan Poe. Perhaps one of my favorite of all Poe's works, this literary genius stimulates one of everyone's deepest and scariest fears: to be buried alive. Though there are several macabre options to consider, in this fantastic tale set in Italy, a man is buried alive behind a brick wall. Poe goes to great lengths to describe the process, the emotions and the setting. As a reader, you are entr Book Review 4+ of 5 stars to The Cask of Amontillado, a Gothic short story written in 1846, by Edgar Allan Poe. Perhaps one of my favorite of all Poe's works, this literary genius stimulates one of everyone's deepest and scariest fears: to be buried alive. Though there are several macabre options to consider, in this fantastic tale set in Italy, a man is buried alive behind a brick wall. Poe goes to great lengths to describe the process, the emotions and the setting. As a reader, you are entranced in the action, caring little about the characters or the reasons why it's happening. You read each line in fear, wondering how it will all end. What I love about Poe's work is his ability to draw readers into a darkness that permeates all our senses. As you read the story, all five of your physical senses react to the vengeance plot he's fabricated... from the damp and dank smell of the dirt to the scraping of the mortar against the bricks, your body will twist and turn at the thought of what lengths mankind will when they are angry and hurt. Take a chance on this one... it'll give you a great sense of who Poe was both as a writer and as a villain. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sanjay Gautam

    9/10 Loved the way Poe portrayed this tale of revenge; climax was unexpected but left me quite satisfied.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mohsin Maqbool

    The Cask of Amontillado is one of Edgar Allan Poe's darkest tales and loved by people all over the world as it is Gothic horror at its best. The narrator, Montresor, opens the story by stating that he has been insulted by his acquaintance, Fortunato, on numerous occasions and he wants to exact revenge. However, he wants to do so in a measured way without raising any suspicion. He knows that Fortunato is a connoisseur of wine. He approaches Fortunato during a carnival wearing a mask of black silk The Cask of Amontillado is one of Edgar Allan Poe's darkest tales and loved by people all over the world as it is Gothic horror at its best. The narrator, Montresor, opens the story by stating that he has been insulted by his acquaintance, Fortunato, on numerous occasions and he wants to exact revenge. However, he wants to do so in a measured way without raising any suspicion. He knows that Fortunato is a connoisseur of wine. He approaches Fortunato during a carnival wearing a mask of black silk. He tells Fortunato that he has bought some wine that could be Amontillado, a light Spanish sherry. Fortunato (Italian for “fortunate”) wears the multi-coloured costume of the court jester, including a cone cap with bells. Is the shadow of the rat A sign of soon-to-come death? Montresor is an extremely shrewd person and wants Fortunato to play into his hands, so he tells him that if he is too busy, he will ask a man named Luchesi to taste the wine. Fortunato scoffs on hearing this. He claims that Luchesi could not differentiate between Amontillado and other types of sherry. Fortunato is eager to taste the wine so that he could determine for Montresor whether it is truly Amontillado. Fortunato insists that they go to Montresor’s vaults. So the latter quickly takes the former there. He had already told his servants that he would return in the morning and he wanted none of them to leave the house during his absence. He knew too well that they would consider this to be an excellent chance to go the carnival, leaving the house all for himself. Is this the passage to death? How will Montresor take revenge on Fortunato once they are in the underground vaults? Or will his conscience get the better of him, making him change his mind at the last minute? Will it be Fortunato who will be fortunate enough to read Montresor’s mind and make good his escape in the nick of time? Read the story and find out yourself. So much to fear Doomsday is near. Colour and costume play a major part in this short story. Montresor wears a black silk mask. A mask acts like a shield covering one’s true motives. Black is mostly associated with evil, dark and the underworld. Silk is smooth which could also allude to a smooth and slippery person. The vaults are underground which is pitch black, so they could be easily associated with the underworld where sinister and macabre things take place. Fortunato is wearing a multi-coloured costume of the court jester. Multi-coloured could stand for a lively person, which Fortunato is. However, court jesters are renowned for their buffoonery and foolishness. There is every likelihood that Fortunato might turn out to be a fool and easily lured into Montresor’s trap. Edgar Allan Poe With the fab four. Those who want more Head for the vault door.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

    "I must not only punish but punish with impunity” Have you ever thought how revenge could be at its worst? Well, Poe with his dark ingenuity gives us a splendid lesson. A scary glimpse to the idea of revenge carried with meticulous precision. Poe presents us a placid and dark story that is deception at its finest. “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, howe "I must not only punish but punish with impunity” Have you ever thought how revenge could be at its worst? Well, Poe with his dark ingenuity gives us a splendid lesson. A scary glimpse to the idea of revenge carried with meticulous precision. Poe presents us a placid and dark story that is deception at its finest. “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk.” Did Fortunato indeed insulted our narrator? For no explanation is given to the cause, the reader just hears the voice of the narrator and his suposed humiliation. Would you simply take an insult, or avenge yourself? As I was reading along, I wondered: is this only a threat, a scare or will the narrator only be satisfied with the inexorable demise? But there are omens, if we wish to recognize them. “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.” First I read calmly until suddenly the dark climate hit me, and I wondered: how did it all comes to that? What an atmosphere of foreboding Poe is able to conjure with so few words. The scary image of death in progress. “I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.” The story is placid and dark as starless night sky. Deception at its finest interpretation. Something you will not see in any other story, as far as I can remember. The image of the impetus of death unfolding, a gradual build up to the very end.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    "Revenge is a dish best served cold."........heheheOh No! Another carnival, but this time set in 18th century Italy.....with a tipsy jester, the connoisseur of fine wine, and a super creepy atmosphere in the pitch black dampness of the catacombs far below where a deadly revenge is put to bed. Yikes! EDGAR ALLAN POE - 1846 (enjoyed it more second time around!)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    Oh, for the love of wine. This was frighteningly creepy!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dimitri

    "Well, Bart, your Uncle Arthur used to have a saying: "Shoot 'em all and let God sort 'em out.' Unfortunately, one day he put his theory into practice. It took 75 federal marshals to bring him down. Now, let's never speak of him again." In Latin, the Simpsons could substitute the Montrésor family motto: Nemo me impune lacessit . maybe Montrésor should stop listening to the voices in his head? This is really a story that needs to be read in your teens and again when you're older and hopefully, wis "Well, Bart, your Uncle Arthur used to have a saying: "Shoot 'em all and let God sort 'em out.' Unfortunately, one day he put his theory into practice. It took 75 federal marshals to bring him down. Now, let's never speak of him again." In Latin, the Simpsons could substitute the Montrésor family motto: Nemo me impune lacessit . maybe Montrésor should stop listening to the voices in his head? This is really a story that needs to be read in your teens and again when you're older and hopefully, wiser. Because underneath the gratification of vengeance, there stands a wood into which Montrésor does not which to lead us. He might find himself lost in the mists of his imagination. On the surface, it is easy to identify with our protagonist as he has suffered a thousand slights. We all know at least one Fortunato, especially in high school. In later life, when we have presumably learned to maintain our dignity in the face of low insults, the stakes are raised. The arena can be a professional setting to which we are shackled by economic necessity, returning daily to the chafing of the cubicle and the nitrate of water cooler gossip. It may even be an arena of our own construct in which we suffer the stalemate of abusive relationships, whether its scars are visible on the skin or not. By measure of violent and unbridled emotion, we would like to condemn our personal Fortunato to the most languid and contemplative manner of death known to man. Or woman. Our parting words before the last brick goes into place might even contain a pun on the name. There would be none of the sophisticated mechanical systems in place to alert anyone to The Premature Burial which were in vogue in Poe's time*. On second thought, If an insult to the family name was the straw that broke the camel's back, then why not simply resort to the gentleman's tradition of cold steel? Given the Venetian setting, either party was unlikely to perish: Italians had a reputation for squeamishness, with honour satisfied at the slightest draw of blood. ”The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” What is the nature of the thousand precedents that warrant this instance? We shall learn nothing of this from the mouth of our narrator, unless, for all his insight into the psyche of other men, he betrays himself to both the audience and the fool. Needless to say, he commits this error on two separate occasions, even before the two characters meet at the Carnaval: "He had a weak point—this Fortunato—although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine [but] in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially: I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could". And more overtly in the discreet safety of the catacombs. Fortunato, however, fails to detect the veiled threat in his imbibed state. "You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter". He lures his victim with Pride. Yet which of the seven cardinal sins drive him? Mere Anger, or Envy? Does Montrésor find his vineyard expertise outmatched, has it driven him to financial ruin? Has his standing in the community suffered accordingly? His lineage stretches back centuries, but what about the pedigree of Fortunato? Do we witness the proverbial clash between the old nobility and the nouveau riche? The part of Fortunato in the situation is particularly foggy; the opening statement hints at a gradual deterioration of their acquaintance. Yet even in sobriety he remains oblivious to a fault. It is also impossible to determine whether Montrésor misreads him. I am disinclined to think that a singular incident pushed him over the edge. Whatever the origins of his silent wrath, Montrésor is a man consumed. His thirst for revenge seems to stem as much from his character as from any wrongdoing by Fortunato’s hand. ”You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat… 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. It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face.” The measure of his cold-blooded predetermination is manifested once more in an understated manner before we descend into the family catacombs: "There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honor of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned." Fortunato certainly shows himself to be a persistent personality, to the point of stubbornness when reinforced by wine. He deflects repeated perverse offers to turn back from the damp atmosphere of the vaults. Right before the trap springs, he betrays a certain callousness which is the only hint that Montrésor may be not wholly unjustified in his set-up. “Proceed,” I said; “herein is the Amontillado. As for Luchesi— ” “He is an ignoramus,” interrupted my friend.” Is this casual dismissal how he treats people to their face? Or is it merely the outspokenness of youth? Because the final, contect reflection by Montrésor on the fate of his friend utterly shatters the mental image I spontaneously glimpsed. Fortunato was to have a rotund figure, the face beset by fleshy jowls, the wrinkles of the forties smoothed out by the fat under the skin. Montrésor appeared to me as a sort of Duke of Alba: impeccable in both dress and manners, with a streak of gray through his Van Dyke beard. Imagine the words "But I must first render you all the little attentions in my power.” - with thàt look. Yet unless the latter has achieved a longevity uncommon to the dawn of the 19th century, this was a young man’s game played out as the Bastille was stormed. Fortunate’s demise almost foreshadows that of the Venice Empire: “For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.” A reader well vested in vestments will pick up on this sooner, amidst what is in my view a rare moment of hilarity, provided that your tastes run as dark as the subaquatic tunnels. It can certainly be played to comic effect on the screen. “A mason,” I replied. “A sign,” he said. “It is this,” I answered, producing a trowel from beneath the folds of my roquelaire. “You jest,” he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces. “But let us proceed to the Amontillado.” For the narrative flow, it matters little exactly what a roquelaire is; only some sort of cape could’ve served the purpose of concealment. The fact that Montrésor keeps his mason tool on his person is a bit odd; whèn exactly did he hide it there? He bows his vistor through his palazzo into the catacombs speedily. Did he have it with him at the Carnaval? Why not hide it under the bones together with his stones and mortar? Maybe Poe chose the term roquelaire to throw his more faithful readers off the scent“A lined and trimmed cloak that reaches to the knees, often with bright-coloured lining and trimmed with fur. [from 18th c] : The Tell-Tale Heart predates the Cask of Amontillado by three years (1843). This time, there would be no justice for the assassin. *Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear by Jan Bondeson

  12. 5 out of 5

    Davyne DeSye

    I just love this story – it is my all-time favorite of Poe’s works. This probably has something to do with the tender age at which I first read it (and the creep factor it engendered in me), but I still consider it my favorite and extremely creepy! Poe, like Ray Bradbury (another favorite of mine), lets the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks. Yet, even while allowing the reader’s creative vision to complete the picture, I love the details of the setting that Poe gives in this story. I can pi I just love this story – it is my all-time favorite of Poe’s works. This probably has something to do with the tender age at which I first read it (and the creep factor it engendered in me), but I still consider it my favorite and extremely creepy! Poe, like Ray Bradbury (another favorite of mine), lets the reader’s imagination fill in the blanks. Yet, even while allowing the reader’s creative vision to complete the picture, I love the details of the setting that Poe gives in this story. I can picture the costumes, the party, the character of the unfortunate Fortunado, and the catacombs that house the wine cellar. As Montresor leads Fortunado deeper and deeper into the cellar, simply through the use of language, the chill beneath the skin on my arms begins to build. And the ending, whoa. That it didn’t give me nightmares when I read it as a child is amazing (although there is absolutely nothing graphic included – which I suppose answers that question), as the visions/sounds/surroundings brought to mind by the ending are still chilling to me now. Absolutely wonderful! Especially to a person who doesn’t care for gory or explicit horror. Instead, this story elicits dread which, to my mind, is as close as I want to get to true horror. Highly recommended!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    The Cask of Amontillado (1846) is a brief story story by Edgar Allan Poe. It is told by an unreliable narrator, just as "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-tale Heart" are. It includes a favourite theme of Poe, which he had also used in "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839) and "The Black Cat" (1846) - that of (view spoiler)[walling up alive. (hide spoiler)] The story is entirely about revenge, the bottle of sherry merely being a device to entrap the victim. Although there is a theory that the sto The Cask of Amontillado (1846) is a brief story story by Edgar Allan Poe. It is told by an unreliable narrator, just as "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-tale Heart" are. It includes a favourite theme of Poe, which he had also used in "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839) and "The Black Cat" (1846) - that of (view spoiler)[walling up alive. (hide spoiler)] The story is entirely about revenge, the bottle of sherry merely being a device to entrap the victim. Although there is a theory that the story is based on a rumour circulating when Poe was in the army, it is also thought to be a story spitefully directed at another writer, Thomas Dunn English, with whom Poe was having a feud.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    “A million candles have burned themselves out. Still I read on. (Montresor)”

  15. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This was a re-read. And like always, Poe never disappoints.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This was the only thing I enjoyed reading at Catholic school. A fellow student's scribbled creative curses on the margins of our religion class handouts nonwithstanding. Poe's atmospheric talents are undeniable- the man even inspired Baudelaire with a new level of excitement (the dark, brooding kind of course) about how dark life can be. It shall thrill my inner 14 year old heart forever.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    Poe writes like a man obsessed. His stories linger on recurring fears, and the subsequent deaths caused by paranoia. This one felt claustrophobic, like it was enclosed and encased in a veil of darkness and petty revenge. As soon as the characters entered the eerie catacombs it became apparent where this tale was going; it was like a big spoiler: it became obvious that only one would leave alive because that’s Poe for you. Try to resist his words: “A succession of loud and shrill screams, burstin Poe writes like a man obsessed. His stories linger on recurring fears, and the subsequent deaths caused by paranoia. This one felt claustrophobic, like it was enclosed and encased in a veil of darkness and petty revenge. As soon as the characters entered the eerie catacombs it became apparent where this tale was going; it was like a big spoiler: it became obvious that only one would leave alive because that’s Poe for you. Try to resist his words: “A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated, I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall; I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed, I aided, I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the clamourer grew still.” Spoilers coming. He has a wonderful ways of putting words together, a way that is completely enthralling. I love the way that he writes. His characters are usually really complex too. Poe uses many different reasons to justify murder. Well, at least to the perpetrator. He explains their complex psychology, and the madness that resulted in such a deed. This one, however, appeared rather normal. The narrator is pissed off with Fortuna. He tries to sell Fortuna some cheap knock off wine; it isn’t a cask of Amontillado. He feels like a fool and wants some revenge for some vague reason. By Poe’s standard this is all very mundane. This is a guy who has just ripping of another guy. As the story progresses it becomes much darker. Montresor is the real case study. He claims that Fortuna has insulted him beyond reason; he has given him a thousand injuries. But there is no such proof to the claim. All we see is one man systematically plan the murder of another. There is no reliability in the claim or the story itself. It’s a killing that is covered up by a vague and weak excuse. Perhaps Montresor invented the insult to give him an excuse to indulge in his dark passion. Perhaps he has gone mad, and has perceived insults that were not there. Either way it ends with one man buried behind a wall, and another perpetual mystery raised by the enigmatic Poe.

  18. 4 out of 5

    cindy

    I didn't seem to learn my lesson. Do not listen to Edgar Allan Poe audiobook when you think you are alone! It will give you arrhythmia. For sure. Yeah, I did that (again) during lunch break, it was quite, so I took my phone, put my earphones and listen to this, The Cask of Amontadillo (I read The Sherlockian a while ago and it was mention by ACD character, hence 'curious'). Closed my eyes... and listened. Arrhythmia!! The story itself was rather straight point. Fortnato did something that insult Mo I didn't seem to learn my lesson. Do not listen to Edgar Allan Poe audiobook when you think you are alone! It will give you arrhythmia. For sure. Yeah, I did that (again) during lunch break, it was quite, so I took my phone, put my earphones and listen to this, The Cask of Amontadillo (I read The Sherlockian a while ago and it was mention by ACD character, hence 'curious'). Closed my eyes... and listened. Arrhythmia!! The story itself was rather straight point. Fortnato did something that insult Montressor. Montressor vow for revenge. But Poe wrote it so meticulously and so tautly, so the tense was built up little by little, get higher everytime they descend the wine vault... until.... "For the love of God, Montresor!" For the love of God, indeed. Nemo me impune lacessit ~ No one attacks me with impunity NB. I got the audiobook from Librivox, and it was outstanding, with sound fx and all. Love it. http://www.archive.org/download/stori...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ayman Gomaa

    تجربة جديدة و غريبة الغرابة ان فى قراءتى الرابعة ل ادجار الان بو الغرابة لو تعد تمثل مفاجئة لى "لقد عقدت العزم على الانتقام " قصة عن الحقد و الى اين ممكن ان يسيطر على الانسان الحقد الذى يودى بالانسان الى الانتقام بافظع الاساليب ليست ممتعة ولكن مخيفة

  20. 4 out of 5

    Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)

    Just an okay short story with a very eerie ending.

  21. 4 out of 5

    A. Dawes

    The Cask of Amontillado 4.5* Like most of Poe's stories, this haunted me long after I finished it. What atmosphere could be more chilling than a man murdering another for revenge at Carnivale time in a unnamed part of Italy? The protagonist, Montresor, somehow holds Fortunato accountable for his own decline in fortunes. Fortunato (obviously relating to fortune) is a happy, respected and an admired member of society, who has risen through the ranks, possibly with the aid of The Freemasons. He is The Cask of Amontillado 4.5* Like most of Poe's stories, this haunted me long after I finished it. What atmosphere could be more chilling than a man murdering another for revenge at Carnivale time in a unnamed part of Italy? The protagonist, Montresor, somehow holds Fortunato accountable for his own decline in fortunes. Fortunato (obviously relating to fortune) is a happy, respected and an admired member of society, who has risen through the ranks, possibly with the aid of The Freemasons. He is everything Montresor once was, and apparently has made a few derogatory comments about Montresor, although whether this is the reason for his murder, or whether the reason is an envy bordering on lunacy, is questionable. Another excellent dark story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tweety

    Don't read this at night! I'm not quite sure what I think of this, I like Poe, I like his words, his spine tingling suspense and his gothic aproch. But what was this? I will never, ever go down into the catacombs. Ever. Not like this sorry soul... It was horrid, and very good. But I don't entirely understand what happened and why, so three stars is about right. I liked The Raven better.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fernando

    Unos de los cuentos de venganza más logrados de Edgar Allan Poe. Por cuestiones de spoiler, no puede uno comentar mucho acerca del cuento, pero sí establecer que si algo caracterizaba a Poe era esa genialidad para los finales de sus cuentos. Es por ello que el formato de cuento moderno existe a partir de él.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    This is one of the strangest short stories I've ever read. Incredible and unforgettable, it's a classic that really makes its readers think.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sundus HameedUllah Khan

    Nothing like a story about burying someone alive, right? This particular story is known as Poe's perfect piece that illustrates the horrors of evil.

  26. 4 out of 5

    José

    English | Español A short story of revenge told from the point of view of a mad narrator. There isn't much to say about this story without spoiling the ending, other than the mystery lay in the narrator's motive for murder. It explores one of the topics that characterized Edgar Allan Poe's writing, although I think that he wrote it better in other short stories. The ending is very powerful, as it usually happens with his stories, but it wasn't one of my favourites. ------------------------------- El English | Español A short story of revenge told from the point of view of a mad narrator. There isn't much to say about this story without spoiling the ending, other than the mystery lay in the narrator's motive for murder. It explores one of the topics that characterized Edgar Allan Poe's writing, although I think that he wrote it better in other short stories. The ending is very powerful, as it usually happens with his stories, but it wasn't one of my favourites. ------------------------------- El barril de Amontillado es un cuento de Poe en el cual se describe una terrible venganza llevada a cabo por el narrador de la historia; el misterio no radica en descubrir la identidad del asesino, sino en conocer cuáles son los motivos que lo llevan a cometer el crimen. Como suele suceder con los cuentos de Poe, el final es impactante y perturbador, pero no me gustó tanto como otros de sus cuentos que tocan el mismo tema. No se puede comentar mucho más sin spoilear el final, así que solo voy a decir que es un cuento que se lee bastante rápido y que resume a la perfección uno de los temas que... ¿fascinaba? A Edgar Allan Poe.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Marie

    This rating still holds up years upon rereading and this continues to be one of my all-time favorite short stories. 5 stars I had to read this for school and I absolutely loved it. Maybe the reason I enjoyed it so much was because I read it for school and we talked about irony. Talking about the story made me think more into it and now I think it's brilliant. I had already been intrigued, but the story just proved to be amazing. Whimsical Writing Scale: 5 Plotastic Scale: 5 Character Scale: 5

  28. 4 out of 5

    Foad

    در اين داستان، به خلاف قلب رازگو، انگيزه ى قتل چندان مهم نيست. بيشتر صحنه پردازى و فضاسازى اهميت دارد. آلن پو همان اول به شما مى گويد كه قرار است قتلى رخ دهد و در ادامه، با دانستن اين حقيقت وحشتناك، به راحتى فضايى تاريك و وحشت انگيز مى آفريند. توصيه: اين داستان در تاريكى شب و تنها بخوانيد.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emad (TheBookCritic)

    يا قلبي عليك يا فورتوناتو!! ما هذه النفسية السوداوية البنفسجية الجحيمية للمختل العقلي مونتريسور! أحداث عجيبة .. وقصة غريبة جداً! غريبة لأنها على الرغم من ظلاميتها وعتهها إلا أنها رائعة فوق الوصف! لا أستطيع أن أقول أن القصة غير حقيقية أو غير واقعية .. أو أنها من نسج الخيال المريض للكاتب العجيب إدجار آلان بو! بل على العكس تماماً، بالنسبة لي فأنا أرى هذه القصة حقيقية جداً، وأبعد ما تكون عن الخيال! فكما نعلم جميعاً، هذه هي عادة الأدب .. يواجهنا بكل جرأة وجسارة وصراحة ووضوح بحقيقتنا البشرية الضعيفة التي يا قلبي عليك يا فورتوناتو!! ما هذه النفسية السوداوية البنفسجية الجحيمية للمختل العقلي مونتريسور! أحداث عجيبة .. وقصة غريبة جداً! غريبة لأنها على الرغم من ظلاميتها وعتهها إلا أنها رائعة فوق الوصف! لا أستطيع أن أقول أن القصة غير حقيقية أو غير واقعية .. أو أنها من نسج الخيال المريض للكاتب العجيب إدجار آلان بو! بل على العكس تماماً، بالنسبة لي فأنا أرى هذه القصة حقيقية جداً، وأبعد ما تكون عن الخيال! فكما نعلم جميعاً، هذه هي عادة الأدب .. يواجهنا بكل جرأة وجسارة وصراحة ووضوح بحقيقتنا البشرية الضعيفة التي تجمع في طياتها جِبْرِيل وإبليس!! وهما في داخل هذه النفس البشرية يتصارعان إلى الأبد! ربما نكون نحن - الناس الطيبين المساكين العاديين - قادرين بكل سهولة وبساطة على ارتكاب جريمة مونتريسور أيضاً! نعم، ولكن الفرق بيننا وبينه أنه ارتكبها على أرض الواقع .. ونحن نرتكبها في مخيلاتنا .. وبعضنا حتماً يرتكبها إن أتيحت له الفرصة وأمِن العقوبة! أعترف أن الكثير والكثير والكثير من المشاعر والأحاسيس تداخلت عندي أثناء قراءة القصة!! لا أدري لماذا، ولكنني أحسست في مواضع كثيرة أنني لا أعرف كيف يجب أن أشعر!!! خصوصاً أثناء تلك المشاهد التي كان يتوسل فيها فورتوناتو (الضحية) إلى مونتريسور (القاتل) كي يعفو عنه ويطلق سراحه. تداخلت عندي هناك كل مشاعر الدنيا من الضحك .. والحزن .. والغضب .. والكآبة ... والفرح!!! شيء عجيب! أنصح بقراءتها .. رائعة حتى الجنون!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vahid

    Just the name of Poe conjures horror and darkness for some. This short story is one of the most distinctive works of Poe because he focuses on psychological aspects of story telling and the manifestation of the protagonist's state of mind rather than the stereotypical stages of a story, thus falls under the category of literature of revelation rather than resolution. The theme is quite simple, a person harboring strong aversion towards his friend and seeking revenge. The narrative, however, is d Just the name of Poe conjures horror and darkness for some. This short story is one of the most distinctive works of Poe because he focuses on psychological aspects of story telling and the manifestation of the protagonist's state of mind rather than the stereotypical stages of a story, thus falls under the category of literature of revelation rather than resolution. The theme is quite simple, a person harboring strong aversion towards his friend and seeking revenge. The narrative, however, is deftly dark and complex, one that does fill the reader with horror. The protagonist is quite unreliable since there is no proof that his friend has hurt him before, but he does bury his friend alive anyway, though he at times casts doubt upon the nature of this heinous act, thickening the gothic feeling in reader all the more. An important element of this story, for me, is that just the thought of being buried alive is enough to send gruesome waves to the reader, what Poe has definitely mastered and employed in this story.

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