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Desiree Ibon Mr.

Mennenoh English III Honors 11 December 2011 The Avenger Edgar Allan Poe, one of the most highly renown dark romantic writers, utilized his tragic life to pen a multitude of gothic poems and short stories that are still widely popular today. Notably in The Cask of Amontillado, Poe tells a classic horror story about the misunderstood, intense insanity, and the looming consequences of revenge. Traits from the dark romantic era are evident in the story. Dark romantic traits such as intitution over logical reasoning and heavy symbolism are utilized throughout. Poe also in his writing shows how the need for revenge is something that humanity, as a whole struggles to overcome. Primarily, the story is set during holiday celebrations, where everyone is in high spirits and is partying. However, one of the main characters, Montresser sits alone in his quarters plotting revenge. A man named Fortunado has done him a wrong one too many times and finally, Montresser has had enough. Fortunado, with alterior motives, finds Fortunado in the streets. Just coming from the town carnival, Fortunado is seen as "The man who wore a motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells" (Poe 6). Acting amiable, Fortunado tells Montressor that he potentially has a bottle of Amontillado and wants him to be the judge of if it is the real wine or not. Fortunado, quickly accepts the offer and Montressor leads him to his chambers. Fortunado quickly accepts, wanting to show off his superior knowledge.

However, Montressor then proceeds to get him highly intoxicated and this leads to Fortunado being chained to the wall. Fortunado meets his demise and is left to hang for the following fifty years. The dark romantic trait of intution over all logical reasoning is evident. Both Montressor and Fortunado are victims to this. Montressor abandons all logic and proceeds to do dark and immoral deeds. He does what he thinks is right, even though it is unjust, and continues on with his devious plot to kill Fortunado. Fortunado is now merely "piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris" (Poe 8). He believes that since Fortunado has done wrong to him, he should commit an offense against him that is much worse. Fortunado also abandons his logical reasoning for his intuition. His ego blinds him from realizing how Montressor has turned into an angry and vengeful individual because of his wrongfulness. He does not see that all the offenses he has done against Montressor have only made him more and more angry to the point now, where Montressor has turned insane and wants to seek revenge against him. Poe also utilizes heavy symbolism to convey a deeper meaning to his horror story. Fortunado himself serves as an ironic symbol from his name. Fortunado is derived from meaning fortunate, or lucky. Ironically, he proves to be the most unlucky one in the town amid all of the celebration as he meets his sudden demise. Another symbol is the vaults in Montressor's catacombs. The vaults act as a family emblem along with a wine cellar and a prison cell for Fortunado. This goes along to place the symbols of pride of one's family, drunkeness, and the consequences of revenge on the vaults. Ultimately, the theme presented is the desire for revenge is a hard to overcome.

Even for the most civilized individuals, revenge is something all of humanity struggles to deal with. Edgar Allan Poe acts as a prototype writer for the dark romantic era writers. Heavy symbolism and the loss of logic and intution are two dark romantic traits he uses. Poe writes of the injustices "when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong " (Poe 1). Not only does one of the main characters serve as a symbol, vaults in the catacombs do as well. His troubled past led him to write some of the stilll most highly regarded gothic horror stories and poems.

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