Introduction: The fuel for the antagonism in the story is revenge.
The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge (Poe 1).
Translation: The above quote clearly shows that he wants revenge, but not for the injuries. He wants revenge for the insults. He uses the word venture which literally implies the undertaking of an action while knowing the risks involved. By this, he means that Fortunato knew the risks but still chose to insult him anyway.
Significance: the quote shows the absence of forgiveness in Montresor so that it is replaced by vengeance.
Introduction: A wrong, according to Montresor, never ends until justice is done.
A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser (Poe 1).
Translation: Redressing is the correction of a fault or error. From the above quote, Montresor implies the never-ending cycle of betrayal and revenge in that whenever there is an occurrence, it never ends until one of them dies or there is some agreement between the parties.
Significance: further analyzes the way Montresor is driven by his revenge against Fortunato just because of an insult.
Concluding points: Through this exaltation of emotion, Montresor promotes individualism which is an aspect of Dark Romanticism.
Topic sentence: To prove that the story is a dark romantic short story, there is need to analyze the capacity for evil in Montresor, the antagonist in the story.
Introduction: Montresor has no room for forgiveness in his life.
Nemo me impune lacessit (Poe 10).
Translation: The quote above translates into no one injures me with impunity. The facts that the story starts with Montresor claiming of injuries and insults from Fortunato, at first, makes us think that he may be speaking of doing the same to him.
Significance: Montresor takes it up a notch when he decides to wall up his victim in the vault. It is impossible to believe that he actually could commit this type of evil. Even as Montresor meets up with Fortunato, there is little that showed he was going to kill his enemy.
Introduction: Poe used pervasive irony to bring the aspect about evil out greatly.
It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend (Poe 6).
Translation: Montresor refers to him as a friend instead of foe blinding not only Fortunato but even us as the readers from his real intentions.
Significance: the quote accentuates an aspect of Dark Romantic narrations in that the main character is not what we expect: we expect a character filled with grace and instead we get someone filled with evil.
Concluding Points: Montresor has a huge capacity for evil. He was able to convince his friend so much so that he kills him while he thinks it is a joke.
Topic sentence: Montresors proclivity to commit the act of revenge is also of interest to the essay because it will help prove that the story is a dark romantic one.
Introduction: This part tests if there is any good in mankind so that the representative of mankind is Montresor, who is the antagonist in the story.
Come, I said, with decision, we will go back; your health is precious (Poe 10).
Translation: The above quote brings us to think that there is goodness in Montresor. Here, Montresor is giving Fortunato a chance to turn back and go back to his life.
Significance: It begs us to wonder the events that could have transpired should Fortunato have decided to go back.
Introduction: Would Montresor have taken him hostage and forced him in?
In pace requiescat (Poe 10)!
Translation: This quote translates to rest in peace and it is the last thing that Montresor wished his friend after burying him alive. The quote shows us the potential that he had for good.
Significance: the quote is mainly a phrase that the churches use in burial ceremonies for those they love. Fortunato was no friend to Montresor yet he uses these words.
Concluding points: But still, he fell prey to his evil side and named himself judge, jury and executioner.
Topic sentence: Montresors predilection for self-destruction can be a good way to show just how much of a dark romantic character Montresor is.
Introduction: In case of an accusation, there should be evidence to prove the accused is guilty before sentence is carried out.
It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong (Poe 1).
Translation: Montresor never actually says the crimes that Fortunato committed. He is vague in that he says that Fortunato injured him and insulted him and should be punished. He decides to take the law into his hands so that he can satisfy himself. The narration could also be found at fault because it is fifty years later rendering it an unsatisfactory source of proof for Fortunatos crimes.
Significance: The aspect of self-destruction comes in where he is justifying his act of revenge and murder.
Introduction: It is interesting that from the very first point Fortunato is unable to realize Montresors endgame. It is probable he thought it was some kind of game.
Ha! Ha! Ha! He! He! A very good joke indeedan excellent jest. We shall have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo He! He! He!over our winehe! He! He (Poe 10)!
Translation: The fact that Fortunato is unaware of his impending death also implies that perhaps he never thought that Montresor would go to that extent.
Significance: Understanding that Fortunato never thought Montresor capable of such a deed enables us see Montresor as an unstable character capable of impulsive decisions that could lead to his self-destruction.
Concluding points: To his death, he still thought it was a joke.
Topic sentence: The story seems like a confession of some sort that implies that he must have felt guilty at some point.
Introduction: Perhaps, he was nearing death which made him seek some retribution.
In pace requiescat!
Translation: The translation of this as mentioned above is rest in peace. It could imply that he is regretting whatever he did fifty years ago. It is probable that he is hiding behind his ego. After narrating his story, he ends by telling his friend to rest.
Significance: It also implies that he fears being haunted by the spirit of Fortunato because of the brutal way he ended his life.
Introduction: Guilt has different ways of manifesting. For instance, the fear that washes over you when you realize what you have done is grave.Fortunato! No answer. I called again: Fortunato! No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within (Poe 10).
Translation: The fact that he is calling out to Fortunato to find out if he is still alive shows a sudden rush of guilt in Montresor.
Significance: The quote shows the fear that Montresor may have had when he realized that Fortunato may be really dead. It also ushers us to think of the probable outcome in case Fortunato may have finally answered.
Concluding points: If he were still alive, he would have probably shown more guilt.
Summary of points: Montresors elevation of revenge emotions qualifies him as a dark romantic character. His capacity for evil is an indication of a Dark Romantics aspect. Furthermore, the propensity of Montresor to commit evil also indicates the way the chosen antagonist of a Dark Romantics lacks grace and instead stained with evil. The possibility that he might lead to his self-destruction proves that the story is a Dark Romantic. To further prove that the story is a Dark Romantic, Montresor shows guilt throughout the story proving that there is a possibility for good in mankind.
Conclusion: From the evidence above, it is clear that Montresor shows several traits that reveal the story is a dark romantic story. He has displayed instability regarding emotions and individualism so that he does commit evil and justifies himself for it. Through Montresor, we can see the inherent dark nature that man possesses. Therefore, the story is indeed a gothic novel.
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