“Life is too short to drink cheap wine.”

“I drink,” he said, “to the buried that repose around us.”

“And I to your long life.”

In Edgar Allen Poe’s, The Cask of Amontillado, one man takes revenge on another in a horrific manner. The main character, our narrator, is a member of the Montresor family. In the first paragraph of this story, the narrator mentions bearing many injures from the character Fortunato, but only when Fortunato insulted the narrator did the narrator vow for vengeance. After luring a drunk Fortunato into catacombs that our narrator uses as a wine cellar and chaining him to the wall of a small alcove, the narrator proceeds to brick up the entrée to the alcove, and there by burying Fortunato alive.

I find it ironic that Fortuanto drinks to the dead that surround them in the cellar, because she doesn’t know it but he will soon be joining them. The line “And I to your long life.” has an ironic connotation to it as well, because the narrator is going to kill Fortunato yet drinks to his long life.

I also find the part in the story were Fortunato brings up the Masons. He is trying to say that he is one of the Freemasons to show off when in fact he is no a freemason, but our narrator pulls out a trowel to show that he is a mason, a wall builder. This is foreshadowing how he is going to kill Fortunato.


One comment

  1. I’m so glad you used this quote! This was one of the quotes that our group didn’t really get to cover as much as I would have in our presentation last week, but I really wanted to get the chance to talk more about that subtle irony. However, I firstly find it interesting that you referred to Fortunato as “she”. Was this a typo, or did you interpret Fortunato as a female at first? (Later in the text, Fortunato is referred to as “he”, but I think it would be interesting to explore how the dynamics of the story would have been changed should the conflict arose between a male and a female.) But getting back on topic, I’m really glad someone mentioned the irony! I also thought that the second part of your quote, “And I to your long life”, to have slight tremors of a gentle, dark humor to it. When I was reading this passage, I more pictured a small, internal chuckle from Montressor. I also really liked how you brought in the Masons! The significance of that part of the text had completely gone over my head until Daniel and Danny mentioned it later as we were looking at the text as a group. I feel like irony is a large theme that continually runs through the plot line, along with the strong foreshadowing that you mentioned earlier. Great interpretation!

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