Thesis: The Cask of Amontillado is about revenge.
II. Psychoanalytical Criticism
A. Poeâ€™s Revenge
III. New Criticism
A. Irony of Revenge
IV. New Historicism
A. Historyâ€™s view of Revenge
1. Poeâ€™s Time
2. Criticâ€™s Time
V. Comparison of New Criticism and New Historicism
A. Textâ€™s view similar to Poeâ€™s
B. Textâ€™s view contrasts with Criticâ€™s
VI. Reader Response
A. Response to Justification
B. Response to Success
C. Response to Confession
â€śNemo me impune lacessitâ€ť (Poe 21), Latin meaning no one assails me with impunity. In this one line Poe characterizes The Cask of Amontillado. It is a story of the perfect revenge and why it is unattainable. The main character, Montresor, executes a plan, which he hopes will â€śpunish [Fortunato, the wrongdoer,] with impunityâ€ť (18). The short story discloses that the act of revenge is not successful if â€śretribution overtakes its redresserâ€ť and if â€śthe avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrongâ€ť (18). This story revolves around those requirements. The idea of revenge has played a major role in history and even today influences our culture. Through Psychoanalytic Criticism the ramifications of revenge will be explored, through New Criticism the storyâ€™s viewpoint on revenge will be revealed, through New Historicism historyâ€™s view of revenge will be discussed with a comparison to that of the text, and through Reader Response the criticâ€™s reactions to the story will be expounded.
The storyline for The Cask of Amontillado is presented as a memory. Montresor is recalling a dark secret, which has been hidden for half a century, and is confessing his crime to an unknown, silent listener. The crime is the taking of a manâ€™s life in an act of revenge. The vividness of the storyline shows the importance of ...