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Edgar Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” and “Ligeia” Term Paper

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Updated: Feb 1st, 2021

Exploring the meaning of “The Cask of Amontillado”

Why is the insult that Montressor feels he has suffered at the hands of Fortunato?

The insult set upon Montresor by Fortunato is never clearly revealed in The Cask of Amontillado. It seems to have been a personal affront that was delivered and at the time it was done, Montresor could not defend himself. But that was not to say that he did not want to avenge himself. Suffice to the personal insult by Fortunato could only be avenged by his death.

Why does Montressor use the cask of wine to lure Fortunato into the crypt?

Montresor uses the cask of wine to lure Fortunato to the crypt because Fortunato fancies himself a wine connoisseur. As such, he will take any opportunities to taste all wine vintages, wherever it may be located. The crypt where Fortunato was killed indicates the descent of Montresor into the madness of hell where he does not feel any remorse at all. His method of murder signifies what he knows of stone masonry, of which he is a member, instead of the Masons, which is a secret organization that Fortunato is a member of.

Exploring the meaning of “Ligeia”

The relationship between the narrator and Ligeia

Ligeia’s relation to the narrator is the embodiment of Germanic Romanticism. Her existence is dark, heavy, shrouded in secrecy and mystery. He is attracted by her rare intellect, unusual beauty, and love of languages. The author has an opium addiction. As such, he is prone to delusions and hallucinations, It is quite possible that Ligea was simply that, a creation of his mind, since he could not present any solid evidence of her actual existence.

The explanation of the story’s conclusion

Lady Rowena is a woman born out of logic and nature. She thrives on learning as Ligea did, however, Rowena has a more lighthearted approach to life, which is the opposite of Ligea. Due to the darkness of her marriage, Lady Rowena’s spirit is killed. her husband has no interest in her and her surroundings are dark and sullen, the exact opposite of her personality. This drives her to her kind of madness and eventual physical death. Ligea does not truly come back from death. It is a mind trick played on the narrator by a combination of his opium use and slow descent into madness.

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IvyPanda. "Edgar Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" and "Ligeia"." February 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/edgar-poes-the-cask-of-amontillado-and-ligeia/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Edgar Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" and "Ligeia"." February 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/edgar-poes-the-cask-of-amontillado-and-ligeia/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Edgar Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" and "Ligeia"'. 1 February.

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