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A Critical Analysis of Poes The Cask of Amontillado Poes The Cask of Amontillado is a story about revenge and the workings of the twisted mind of a man who is intent on it In this selection there are many examples of symbolism and foreshadowing The theme that is prevalent is mans domination of his fortune which has been unkind to him The first and main idea of symbolism comes into the story when Poe describes Fortunatos dress Hes described as wearing motley like a jester This costume is appropriate for Fortunatos character in several ways First of all Fortunato is said to have given Montressor the thousand injuries for what he is being avenged for This in itself makes the jester costume appropriate Another aspect of the symbolism of the jester costume is that in medieval times a cruel king would have a court jester executed when his majesty thought the jester had lost his charm-- if the jokes didnt please decapitation served as the entertainment This parallels with Montressors feelings about Fortunato- Montressor was sick of hearing Fortunatos jokes and ridicules and decided to put an end to it Another way to interpret Fortunatos jester costume is that he is made a fool by his pride Montressor intended to make a fool of him and in the end Fortunatos arrogance and pride in his connoiseurship of wine did him in He could not fathom anyone elses opinion on a wine being any good so he had to appraise the wine himself Another point of symbolism that isnt seen without research is expressed by Kenneth Silverman in his book Edgar A Poe Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance Silverman notes that the Montressor motto Nemo me impune lacessit is the national motto of Scotland He thinks that Poe chose this motto not only because of the appropriateness but because of underlying tenseness- his foster father John Allan was Scottish Allan much resembled Fortunato in being
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