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The Cask of Amontillado

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"The Cask of Amontillado" (sometimes spelled "The Casque ..") is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in the November 1846 issue of "Godey's Lady's Book."

It is set in a nameless Italian city in an unspecified year (possibly during the eighteenth century) and concerns the revenge taken by the narrator on a friend who he claims has insulted him. Like several of Poe's stories, and in keeping with the 19th-century fascination with the subject, the narrative revolves around the possibility of a person being buried alive or enclosed in a small space with not possibility of escape (aka immurement).

Librarian's note: this entry relates to the story "The Cask of Amontillado." Collections of short stories by the author can be found elsewhere on Goodreads.

24 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1846

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About the author

Edgar Allan Poe

8,341 books24.1k followers
The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Fall of the House of Usher. This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of essays and book reviews. He is widely acknowledged as the inventor of the modern detective story and an innovator in the science fiction genre, but he made his living as America’s first great literary critic and theoretician. Poe’s reputation today rests primarily on his tales of terror as well as on his haunting lyric poetry.

Just as the bizarre characters in Poe’s stories have captured the public imagination so too has Poe himself. He is seen as a morbid, mysterious figure lurking in the shadows of moonlit cemeteries or crumbling castles. This is the Poe of legend. But much of what we know about Poe is wrong, the product of a biography written by one of his enemies in an attempt to defame the author’s name.

The real Poe was born to traveling actors in Boston on January 19, 1809. Edgar was the second of three children. His other brother William Henry Leonard Poe would also become a poet before his early death, and Poe’s sister Rosalie Poe would grow up to teach penmanship at a Richmond girls’ school. Within three years of Poe’s birth both of his parents had died, and he was taken in by the wealthy tobacco merchant John Allan and his wife Frances Valentine Allan in Richmond, Virginia while Poe’s siblings went to live with other families. Mr. Allan would rear Poe to be a businessman and a Virginia gentleman, but Poe had dreams of being a writer in emulation of his childhood hero the British poet Lord Byron. Early poetic verses found written in a young Poe’s handwriting on the backs of Allan’s ledger sheets reveal how little interest Poe had in the tobacco business.

For more information, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_al...

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Profile Image for Glenn Russell.
1,356 reviews11.8k followers
January 17, 2020

The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe is a classic tale of revenge. Since there are dozens of posts here, my review will take a particular slant: what German pessimistic philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer has to say about the psychology of revenge and how the revengeful narrator in Poe’s tale relates to Schopenhauer’s insights.

Schopenhauer says we all suffer as the result of nature or chance but, as humans, we recognizes that is simply the way life works. He then writes, “Suffering caused by the will of another, on the other hand, includes a quite peculiar and bitter addition to the pain or injury itself, namely the consciousness of someone else’s superiority, whether in point of strength or of cunning, together with that of one’s own impotence.”

It’s that person to person dynamic that gives us the real sting; someone intentionally shoves or hits us, humiliates or insults us, and, for whatever reason, we simply take it. This is what happened in the aristocrat-narrator’s mind – he was insulted by Fortunato. I say ‘in the aristocrat-narrator’s mind’ since we as readers don’t know if Fortunato actually intended to insult him.

Schopenhauer sees two phases of compensation for the person who has suffered at the hands of another. 1) direct and legal – a stranger hits us and we take him to court and win a settlement 2) revenge – to deal with the psychological afterglow of the stranger’s blow. Here are his words: “Recompense, if possible, can cure the injury done; but that bitter addition, the feeling ‘and that is what I have to put up with from you’ which often hurts more than the injury itself, can be neutralized only by revenge.”

The narrator says his is not of a nature to merely threat. Being an aristocrat himself, that is, someone who is accustom to living life and having life on his own terms, he will not even consider direct or legal action or a mere threat. His first step is revenge, and a revenge where he will never be discovered or punished for exacting his revenge and a revenge where Fortunato will be fully aware he is the avenger.

Here is the payoff for the avenger as Schopenhauer sees it: “By returning the injury, either by force or by cunning, we demonstrate our superiority over him who has injured us and thereby annul the proof he gave of his superiority over us. Thus the heart acquires the satisfaction it thirsted for. Where, consequently there is much pride or much vanity, there will also be much reveangefulness.”

This is where the philosopher’s insights fit the characters in Poe’s tale like a finely made Italian glove. Fortunato is a pompous aristocrat, a man full of himself, a man who, in the course of the story, calls another man by the name of Luchresi an ignoramus since Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry. The narrator, in turn, with his vaults and wines, his family crest and family motto, is filled to the brim with pride and vanity. And as he locks Fortunato to the damp wall and seals him up in the cold, dark nave, we as readers get the feeling his revenge is as sweet as sweet can be. As Alfred Hitchcock said, “Revenge is sweet and not fattening.”

Schopenhauer’s words on the psychology of the avenger are penetrating. He writes, “But, as every fulfilled desire reveals itself more or less as a delusion, so does that for revenge. Usually the pleasure we hoped for from it is made bitter by the pity we afterwards feel; indeed, an exacted revenge will often subsequently break the heart and torment the conscience; we no longer feel the motivation which drove us to it, but the proof of our wickedness remains visibly before us.”

Poe’s tale ends with the narrator-avenger completing his stone and plaster task and feeling his heart grow sick from the dampness of the catacombs. But this is the rub. He feels his heart grow sick but it this truly caused by the dampness of the catacombs? Might the narrator-avenger experience pity and heartbreak and a torment of consciousness in the days, weeks and years to come? If he is not mad, then perhaps; if he is mad, then perhaps not. Since this is a tale written by Edgar Allan Poe, madness is always a real possibility. Thus, we can imagine the narrator-avenger spending his remaining days drinking wine from his vaults with a smug, satisfied smile, knowing there is one more pile of bones in his collection.

Profile Image for oyshik.
210 reviews663 followers
January 31, 2021
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

A short piece of writing and the story was strange. But it possessed some dark, creepy, morbid ideas, which might be distressing for some readers. Mainly, It's a short tale about hatred. And that story showed the darkest side of humankind. However, I had to read the story several times for better understanding.
A million candles have burned themselves out. Still I read on.

A bit complicated.
October 28, 2022
An efficacious story on “revenge with impunity” and “premature burial”. For me, it is a perfect “story of VANITY!”. A revenge which laid hidden for half-a-century, and is revealed to the readers by the redresser & narrator (the main character), Montresor.

We as a reader turn into a confidant, to his macabre tale of revenge!
The victim, Fortunato, unaware of the sinister scheming against him, is sealed in the walls of the moist family catacomb.

The story begins with the main character, Montresor, mentioning about his silent endurance of 1000 injuries and vowing a revenge with impunity-

“THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.”
“I must not only punish, but punish with impunity”

Here, the insult borne, is related to the prideful knowledge of Fortunato on wine. We notice that Montresor, can get easily insulted/offended!

Montresor is quintessential of patience
. Searing in revenge, he bides time for seeking revenge till the carnival season arrives, a season of “supreme madness”, when the half-drunk Fortunato, costumed as a jester with tinkling bells around his head, is all unguarded and vulnerable. Montresor decoys Fortunato into the ghastly plot, by mentioning his doubts on the genuineness of the pipe of Amontillado( a type of wine), that he recently purchased. Fortunato, who prides himself as an expert of wine, is lured into the plan. The victim’s vanity, is used as a perfect bait by Montresor! Getting hooked on, he is led to the family catacombs. The funeral atmosphere, is ironically alternated with the jingling jester bells of Fortunato! Fortunato is chained/fettered in the recess of the deepest crypt. Subsequently Montresor starts to lay a wall of stone and mortar (being a premeditated scheme, the items lay pre-prepared), and buries his enemy alive! A perfect tale of “premature burial”. While he does so, he relishes the mental torment of his victim, whom he then leaves alone in the dark, waiting in terror for his death!!

I lovingly bestow 5-stars on this story of vanity & revenge. Few of the striking factors that lured me to do so are-

1. Fortunato’s vanity of his expertise on wine, turns into his weakness and reason of death.
2. Montresor, is seen to be an overtly emotional being, who gets easily offended and harbours the insult, till he can punish his insulter with impunity. He makes sure not to be caught, but slyly brings to fruition the sinister plan.
3. Patience! Generally, when one is burning in revenge, he/she tries to expedite the revenge and get solace. But here we see Montresor waiting on patiently till the carnival season arrives. He is pretty much sane (I personally don’t see any insanity in him, but for balanced hot-headedness). He bides his own time, till the perfect hour arrives!
4. Throughout the story, he calmly and peacefully voices his murderous plan of revenge. This contrast was striking!
With the narration and the words used by the narrator, he very well comes across as a man of stature and education!
5. There is more to the story – the mold, the coat of arms, the masons, read it to explore!
6. The final revelation is – Montresor is reciting the story 50 years later, and still holds no remorse and guilt, and firmly believes that he was wronged! At the end he eerily says "In pace requiescat!" or "May he rest in peace."

The story ends at an ironic contrast of the killer’s solicitude!

My favorite part is the closing line of the story, as it holds tons of emotions and can be deciphered in various ways. The revengeful narrator/redresser, 50 years later, shows his concern for Fortunato and wishes his soul to rest in peace, is giving us his boastful narration of revenge with impunity and still not contrite, and closes on a note of solicitude and brag! He is blowing his own trumpet.

Ironically the story opens on a note of vanity of Fortunato on his knowledge of wine, and closes on another note of vanity of Montressor on his story of revenge with impunity! I LOVED IT TO THE CORE!!
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
August 10, 2019
”A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the
throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a
brief moment I hesitated--I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began
to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant
reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs,
and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall; I replied to the yells of
him who clamoured. I re-echoed--I aided--I surpassed them in volume
and in strength. I did this, and the clamourer grew still.”

 photo e8f13369-7753-4927-b647-53a5fb921bed_zps4xpa5wzm.jpg

The terror of this tale isn’t just in the final act, but in the behavior of the narrator, Montresor. I read this story several times, trying to grasp the level of madness from which he suffers. Is this truly a tale of revenge as he states to us in the beginning, or is it a tale of jealousy fueled by insanity? Poor Fortunato, who is not fortunate at all, believes he is with a friend when he ventures down into the Montresorian Vaults to taste a cask of Amontillado. It is carnival in this unnamed Italian city, and Fortunato is dressed as a fool, and he is so drunk that, though he calls himself a wine expert, I am led to believe he is more of a drunken sod than an connoisseur.

Montresor says at the very beginning of this story that he has been insulted by a ”thousand injuries,” all perpetrated by Fortunato. I’ve known a couple of people in my lifetime who considered any slight a major assault against them. It has been almost debilitating for them. Every molehill becomes a mountain in their minds. Most of us just slough those things off like a sprinkle of rain, but to thin skinned people, those slights become a torrential downpour of despair and projected animosity.

Montresor believes that Fortunato looks down upon him. There is this moment in the story when the Montresor coat of arms is revealed: a golden foot on a blue background crushing a snake whose fangs are embedded in the foot's heel, with the motto Nemo me impune lacessit ("No one attacks me with impunity"). The question is, depending on how you read this tale, is Montresor the snake being crushed or is he the embedded fangs? Maybe, he is both. Montresor expects Fortunato to insult him, so every odd look or misplaced word from Fortunato becomes a condemnation of his friend, Montresor.

Montresor might feel crushed, but he is about to embed his fangs.

 photo cask-of-amontillado_zps4wvua7d9.jpg

Fortunato makes a symbolic motion with his arm and discovers that Montresor is not a Mason, though Montresor insists that he is, even showing Fortunato the trowel that is in his hand as proof. Of course, showing the trowel is great foreshadowing for the final act of immurement. The fact that Fortunato does not believe Montresor is further proof that he despises him.

Montresor could have enacted his revenge anywhere. It is carnival season. The perfect time for a strangulation, a knifing, a drowning or a bludgeoning, and Fortunato would just be thought of as an unfortunate victim of some ruffians, but Montresor wants something more. He wants Fortunato to forever reside among the bones of his ancestors. He doesn’t just want him dead. He wants to OWN him forever. The revenge, if that is what this is, will never end.

 photo CaskofAmontillado-Clarke_zpsdiwg3uxv.jpg
Illustration by Harry Clarke.

There is this moment when Montresor realizes he isn’t feeling well. ”My heart grew sick on account of the dampness of the catacombs.” At the beginning of this sentence, I’m feeling oddly relieved to discover that he is feeling some remorse, maybe the madness that has taken him over has finally been overcome by some horror at his own actions, but of course, all of that is quickly dispelled by him blaming those feelings on the dampness. There are a couple of points, too, where he suggests to Fortunato that they should turn back, but he tempered each of those suggestions with a prod that would insure that his inebriated friend would want to continue. Is this a demented way to assuage his guilt? Can he convince himself that he tried to save him, but it was Fortunato’s choice to continue to his death?

Edgar Allan Poe is most assuredly playing with your mind as he does in most of his stories. He sprinkles little clues that for the discerning reader are there to be discovered. My suggestion is to read this story a few times, and each time, hopefully, a new layer of the story will reveal itself to you. This is an excellent example of Poe and by some people considered his best short story.

If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten
Profile Image for Michael.
Author 2 books1,340 followers
February 1, 2018
Typically this is considered a tale of revenge. I'm going to go out on a limb and argue that it's not. The only notion we have of revenge--of the narrator, Montresor, actually being wronged--comes in the wonderfully vague opening sentence: "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge." It's Montresor himself who insists this is a revenge tale, but of course he's the ultimate unreliable narrator, so we shouldn't take him at his word. Notice that we get not a single detail concerning any of these injuries or insults. Typically you'd expect someone plotting revenge to stew over all those little details ad nauseam. Instead, we only know that Fortunato is a wine connoisseur and that "[i]n painting and gemmary Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack." It seems that, at some level, Montresor simply doesn't like Fortunato (or perhaps doesn't like all Italians, especially Fortunato) and decides to kill him for no other reason than that. You also get the sense that Fortunato is more successful than the narrator (his name, Fortunato, isn't particularly subtle), so perhaps the killing is simply the result of jealousy. There's also that wonderful scene where Fortunato makes a Masonic sign, which the narrator doesn't understand (and call "grotesque"), and Montresor replies by producing a trowel from beneath his clothes and saying he's a mason, too. A grim joke, but one that points again to the jealousy burning inside him.

OK, enough argument! The most important point is that this a wonderfully macabre tale that reprises several of Poe's major themes. I won't spoil the ending. I'll just say that it's a tale that leaves you thinking long after the reading is done. Not just thinking, but feeling: the damp caverns, the piles of bones, and the ever thickening "nitre" that "hangs like moss upon the vaults."
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,260 reviews5,351 followers
December 1, 2022
لا يحمل الحقد من تعلو به الرتب *
*و لا ينال العلا من طبعه الغضب
ما بين الحقد و الانتقام يؤرجحنا ادجار بقسوة شديدة في احدى اقوى قصص الدفن حيا و اكثرها رمزية
مونترسور رواي القصة يحكى لنا قصة انتقامه الاخير من فورتناتو صديقه الثري خبير النبيذ الذي اهانه مرارا
و من اسمه ندرك كم ان "فورتناتو "موفق و مثير لحسد الكل
فها هو عدوه يعدد لنا محاسنه اثناء استدراجه لحتفه ..بدلا من تعديد اساءاته اليه ؛و هو ما يبادر اليه المنتقم بالطبع اثناء تنفيذ انتقامه
..لا ان ينفذه ببرود السفاحين المصابين بالبكم

و بخيال قادم من جهة غير ارضية يرسم لنا ادجار صورة بصرية مغرية جدا لكل فناني العالم؛ ليرسموا الضحية في زي المهرج و المنتقم في زي قاتم كئيب و تحيطهما الجماجم المغروسة في جدران الكتاكومب الرطب الذي شهد معظم احداث القصة ؛ و بالفعل كانت قصة برميل امنتلادو هي اكثر قصة حظت برسوم لادجار بو

و من رؤيتي الخاصة جدا ؛اعتبر هذه الاقصوصة القاسية تحذير سابع او ثامن من ادجار عن اضرار الخمر و الثمالة

و لنتذكر
إثنان يهتمان بكل تفاصيلك
من يحبك بشدة و من يحقد.عليك بشدة
و عندما تحفر قبرا لعدوك ؛لا تنسي ان تحفر لنفسك قبرا معه
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
October 30, 2017
Possibly my favorite Edgar Allen Poe story! Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Our narrator Montresor, an Italian nobleman, explains ― in a suspiciously vague way ― how his friend Fortunato has mortally offended and insulted him. Montresor sets himself on a course of implacable revenge … but he wants to do so in a way that Fortunato understands that Montresor is the source of revenge, but without being caught or punished.

Montresor and Fortunato meet during a carnival festival ― which at first seems by chance, but then you find out that Montresor has set up the situation so that all of his servants are gone (he told them that he would be out all night, but that they were NOT permitted to leave, and counted on the lure of the carnival to do the rest). Montresor tells Fortunato that he has bought a cask of fine Amontillado sherry at full price, but he isn’t certain if it’s the real thing. Fortunato, a connoisseur of old wines, volunteers to taste it.

And so the two go (Montresor first donning a mask) to Montresor’s palazzo and then into the depths of its damp catacombs hung with white webs of nitre, Montresor protesting all the time that his friend really shouldn’t come, but all the time luring him in like an evil-hearted spider …


“The Cask of Amontillado” is one of Poe’s truly memorable horror stories, a tale of vengeance, and more enigmatic and complex than it appeared to me on first read, many years ago. Poe, as always, is great at atmosphere and setting. It’s a tense revenge tale with some black humor, and some interesting ambiguities about guilt. There are so many ironic and symbolic details that add depth to the story: The irony of Fortunato’s name, the “supreme madness of the carnival season” that echoes the narrator’s mental state, the fool costume that Fortunato is wearing at the carnival, and many more. “Montresor” could be translated from French as “my treasure”; it leads one to mull over what exactly is the narrator’s treasure.

Free to read online many places, including here.

One of my favorite Ray Bradbury stories, Usher II (part of his Martian Chronicles story collection) is in part a tribute to "The Cask of Amontillado."
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
October 11, 2020
The Casque of Amontillado = The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe

The Cask of Amontillado is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in the November 1846 issue of Godey's Lady's Book. The story's narrator, Montresor, tells an unspecified person, who knows him very well, of the day he took his revenge on Fortunato (the fortunate one), a fellow nobleman. Angry over numerous injuries and some unspecified insult, Montresor plots to murder his "friend" during Carnival, while the man is drunk, dizzy, and wearing a jester's motley. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه آگوست سال 2014میلادی

عنوان: بشکه آمونتیلادو؛ نویسنده: ادگار آلن پو؛ مترجم: ثمانه اکوان؛

چلیک آمونتیلادو؛ نام داستان کوتاهی در سبک وحشت، از نویسندهٔ آمریکایی «ادگار آلن پو» است که آن را در 1846میلادی نوشته است؛ این داستان که در فارسی با نام‌های «بشکهٔ آمونتیلادو» و «صندوق آمونتیلادو» نیز شناخته می‌شود، روایتگر داستان مردی است که برای انتقام گرفتن از فردی که او را مورد ریشخند قرار داده است، او را به بهانهٔ چشیدن شراب آمونتیلادو (آمونتیادو) به سردابی کشانده، و در میان دیوارها مدفون می‌سازد؛ راوی داستان در اینجا نیز همچون داستان‌های «قلب رازگو» و «گربه سیاه» خودِ قاتل است، که شیوه ی گرفتن انتقام خویش از دشمنش را، برای خوانشگر بیان می‌دارد؛

چکیده: «مونترسر» داستان شبی را بازگو می‌کند، که دوستش «فورچوناتو» را، به انتقام توهینی که در داستان ذکر نشده، میکـُشـَـد؛ او، به بهانه ی اینکه کنجکاو است، در مورد اصالت صندوقی (حاوی حدود یکصد و سی گالن یا چهارصد و نود دو لیتر) از شراب آمونتیادو، که به تازه گی خریداری کرده‌ است، مطمئن شود؛ «فورچوناتو» را به سرداب‌های زیرزمینی خانه‌ اش میکشاند، و او را در قسمتی از سرداب، که به سبک گورهای دسته جمعی پاریس ساخته شده‌ است، به زنجیر کشیده، و سپس زنده بگور میکند؛ همچنین در آخر داستان متوجه میشویم، که پنجاه سال از این رخداد گذشته، و هنوز کسی از آن با خبر نشده است؛ پایان چکیده

مونترسر، در باره ی «هزاران صدمه‌ ای که فورچوناتو به او رسانده است، چیزی نمی‌گوید، در واقع نمی‌دانیم، که ایشان آیا بیماری روانیست، و قتل را از روی جنون انجام داده، یا برای انجام آن برهان برنده ای داشته‌ است؛ این درحالیست که «مونترسر» نمی‌تواند کاملاً بیمار باشد، چرا که داستان را با جزیی��ت کامل، بازگو کرده‌ است؛ «فورچوناتو» در داستان، به عنوان خبره ی شراب، معرفی شده، و این در حالیست، که خود او بارها در حین صحبت، در مورد فرد دیگری که او هم در زمینه تشخیص شراب خبره است، میگوید: «او فرق بین آمونتیادو و شری را نمی‌داند!» اما ما میدانیم، که آمونتیادو خود نوعی از شری است. «فورچوناتو» همینطور شراب فرانسوی گران قیمت را، در یک جرعه مینوشد، به‌ طوری‌ که انگار از ارزش آن، با خبر نیست

متن داستان: بشکه آمونتیلادو- نوشته ادگار آلن پو
هزار زخمی که فورچوناتو به من زده بود را با خون جگر تحمل کرده بودم اما زمانی که به خودش جرات داد به من توهین کند، عهد کردم که انتقام بگیرم. شما که طبیعت مرا خوب می‌شناسید می‌دانید که من فقط زبان به تهدید نمی‌گشایم. در ‌‌نهایت انتقامم را می‌گرفتم؛ این تصمیم قطعی من بود و این قطعیت باعث می‌شد دیگر خطرات احتمالی در این راه را در نظر نگیرم. من نه تنها باید او را تنبیه می‌کردم، بلکه باید او را طوری مجازات می‌کردم که خود از عواقب آن در امان بمانم چرا که اگر مجازات، گریبان مجازات کننده را بگیرد، خطا بی‌کیفر باقی می‌ماند. همچنین اگر خطاکار حضور انتقام گیرنده را احساس نکند، باز هم خطا بی‌کیفر می‌ماند.؛
باید این را متذکر شوم که من نه با کلام و نه با عملم بهانه‌ای به دست فورچوناتو نداده بودم که به نیت خوب من شک کند. من چنان به کار خود ادامه دادم و چنان در مقابل چهره او لبخند بر لب نگه داشتم که نتوانست بفهمد در حالی به او لبخند می‌زدم که در سر اندیشه کشتن او را داشتم.؛
با وجود آنکه از بسیاری لحاظ، مرد قابل احترام و البته ترسناکی به شمار می‌رفت – فورچوناتو را می‌گویم- نقطه ضعف هم داشت؛ خودش را خبره شراب‌شناسی می‌دانست و از این لحاظ به خود ا��تخار می‌کرد. ایتالیایی‌های کمی واقعا ذوق هنری دارند. در بیشتر مواقع شور و شوقشان به موقعیت و زمان بستگی دارد و از آن برای حقه زدن به میلیونر‌های انگلیسی و اتریشی استفاده می‌کنند. فورچوناتو در نقاشی و جواهر‌شناسی مانند باقی ایتالیایی‌ها آدم شارلاتانی بود اما در موضوع شراب‌های کهنه صادق بود. در این زمینه تفاوت چندانی با او نداشتم و در شناخت انواع شراب ایتالیایی خبره بودم و هرگاه که می‌توانستم مقدار زیادی از انواع آن را خریداری می‌کردم.؛
نزدیک غروب آفتاب در اوج جنون فصل کارناوال بود که با دوستم مواجه شدم. او به خاطر اینکه زیاد نوشیده بود، بیش از حد با من به گرمی رفتار کرد. لباس تنگ رنگارنگی پوشیده بود که برخی قسمت‌هایش راه راه بود وکلاه مخروطی و زنگوله‌داری نیز به سر داشت. آنقدر از دیدن او خوشحال بودم که فکر کردم نباید دستش را به آن گرمی می‌فشردم.؛
به او گفتم: «فورچوناتوی عزیز! خوشبختانه شما را دیدم. چقدر امروز خوب به نظر می‌رسید. راستش بشکه شرابی به من رسیده که به نظر می‌رسد «آمونتیلادو» باشد اما درباره آن تردید دارم.»؛
فورچوناتو گفت: «چطور؟ آمونتیلادو؟ آنهم یک بشکه؟ این غیر ممکن است! آنهم درست وسط کارناوال؟»؛
جواب دادم: «در این باره تردید دارم و آنقدر احمق بودم که بدون مشورت گرفتن از شما تمام پولش را هم پرداخت کردم. نتوانستم شما را پیدا کنم و می‌ترسیدم که این معامله را از دست بدهم.»
- آمونتیلادو؟
- تردید دارم.
- آمونتیلادو؟
- باید مطمئن شوم
- آمونتیلادو!؛
- شما که مشغول هستید، من به خانه لوکرزی می‌روم. او می‌تواند شراب را تشخبص دهد و به من می‌گوید…؛
- لوکرزی نمی‌تواند آمونتیلادو را از «شری» تشخیص بدهد.؛
- و البته هنوز هم هستند احمق‌هایی که فکر می‌کنند در تشخیص شراب می‌تواند با تو رقابت کند.؛
- بیا، بیا برویم.؛
- کجا؟
- به سردابه‌های تو
- نه، دوست من! نمی‌خواهم از سرشت خوب شما سوء استفاده کنم. متوجهم که کار دارید. لوکرزی…؛
- من کاری ندارم. بیا
- نه، دوست من! فقط به خاطر درگیر بودن شما نیست به خاطر این است که متوجه شدم ظاهرا سرما خورده‌ اید. سردابه‌ ها به طور تحمل ناپذیری سردند. آن‌ها با شوره پوشیده شده‌ اند.؛
- عیبی ندارد بیا برویم. سرما خوردگی چیز مهمی نیست. آمونتیلادو! شاید آن‌ها را به شما انداخته باشند و لوکرزی نمی‌تواند تفاوت بین آمونتیلادو و شری را تشخیص دهد.؛
به دنبال این صحبت، فورچوناتو خودش را به دست من سپرد. من که نقاب مشکی ابریشمی پوشیده و شنلی را دور خود پیجیده بودم اجازه دادم مرا با عجله به سمت عمارتم ببرد.؛
هیچ کدام از مستخدمین در خانه نبوده و فرار کرده بودند که در جشن شرکت کنند. به آن‌ها گفته بودم که تا صبح بر‌نمی‌گردم و با قطعیت به آن‌ها دستور داده بودم که خانه را ترک نکنند. این دستورات به اندازه‌ای کافی بود که مطمئن بودم به محض اینکه پایم را از خانه بیرون بگذارم، همه‌شان فوری ناپدید می‌شوند.؛
از مشعل‌دان‌ها، دو مشعل برداشتم، یکی را به فورچوناتو دادم و او را از راه اتاقهای مختلف عمارت به سمت دالانی بردم که به سمت سردابه‌ها می‌رفت. از راه پله طولانی و پیچ در پیچی پایین رفتم و از او خواستم وقتی دنبال من می‌آید، احتیاط کند. در ‌‌نهایت به پایین پله‌ها رسیدیم و با هم در کنار زمین‌های مرطوب دخمه خانواده «مونترسور» ایستادیم.؛
دوستم نمی‌توانست درست راه برود و هر زمان که قدم از قدم بر می‌داشت، زنگوله‌های کلاهش جیلینگ جیلینگ صدا می‌دادند.؛
گفت: «یک بشکه؟»؛
گفتم: دور‌تر است اما تارهای سفید عنکبوت را نگاه کن که بر تارک دیوارهای این دخمه می‌درخشند.؛
به سمت من برگشت و با چشمان غبار گرفته‌ی اشک آلود و مستش به چشمانم خیره شد. در ‌‌نهایت پرسید: «بوی شوره است؟»؛
جواب دادم: «بله شوره است. چند وقت است که سرفه می‌کنی؟»؛
- اوه! اوه! اوه – اوه! اوه! اوه – اوه! اوه! اوه – اوه! اوه! اوه – اوه! اوه! اوه!؛
دوست بیچاره من برای چند دقیقه نتوانست پاسخ مرا بدهد.؛
در ‌‌نهایت گفت: «چیزی نیست»؛
با قاطعیت گفتم: «بیا، بر می‌گردیم. سلامتی تو ارزش بیشتری دارد. تو پولداری، محترمی، قابل تحسینی و محبوب. تو خوشبختی. درست مثل من که زمانی خوشبخت بودم. تو مردی هستی که دلتنگت می‌شوند. برای من فرقی ندارد. ما بر می‌گردیم. مریض می‌شوی و من نمی‌توانم مسئولیت این کار را بر عهده بگیرم. جدای از این، لوکرزی هم هست…»؛
او گفت: «بس است! سرفه چیزی نیست. سرفه مرا نمی‌کشد. من نباید با یک سرفه بمیرم.»؛
جواب دادم: «صحیح است. صحیح. در واقع نمی‌خواستم بدون جهت شما را نگران کنم. اما باید جوانب احتیاط را نگهدارید. یک جرعه از این «مدوک» ما را در برابر رطوبت در امان نگه می‌دارد.؛
در همین وقت به گردن بطری‌ای زدم که از روی زمین از کنار ردیف بطری‌های دیگر برداشته بودم و آن را باز کردم. شراب را به او تعارف کردم و گفتم: «بنوش»؛
او با نگاهی از گوشه چشم، لیوان را تا لبش بالا برد. لحظه‌ای مکث کرد و سرش را دوستانه تکان داد و در همین وقت صدای زنگوله کلاه بلند شد.؛
گفت: «می‌خورم به سلامتی مدفون‌شدگانی که با آرامش در اطراف ما آرمیده‌اند!»؛
- و من به سلامتی عمر طولانی شما!؛
او دوباره بازوی مرا گرفت و به راه خود ادامه دادیم.؛
گفت: «این سردابه‌ها خیلی بزرگ هستند.»؛
جواب دادم: «مونترسور‌ها خانواده بزرگ و پر جمعیتی بودند.»؛
- من نشان خانوادگیتان را فراموش کرده‌ام.؛
- پای بزرگ یک انسان به رنگ طلا در زمینه لاجوردی. پا، ماری تهدید کننده را له کرده که نیش‌هایش می‌خواهند در پاشنه پا فرو بروند.؛
- و شعارتان؟
- حمله هیچ کس بی‌کیفر نمی‌ماند.؛
او گفت: «چه خوب!»؛
شراب در چشمانش بر ق می‌زد و زنگوله‌ها صدا می‌دادند. شراب مدوک مرا هم در رویا فرو می‌برد. ما از کنار دیوارهایی از استخوان‌های انباشته شده و بشکه‌ها وخمره‌های مختلف عبور کرده و به تو رفتگی‌های درون دخمه‌ها رسیدیم. من دوباره توقف کردم و این بار شهامت به خرج دادم و بازوی فورچوناتو را از بالای آرنج گرفتم.؛
گفتم: «شوره! نگاه کن دارد زیاد‌تر می‌شود. مثل خزه از طاق اتاق آویزان است. ما زیر بستر رودخانه هستیم. قطرات آب میان استخوان‌ها می‌ریزد. بیا. تا دیر نشده برگردیم. سرفه شما…»؛
فورچوناتو گفت: «چیزی نیست. بیایید ادامه دهیم. اما اول یک جرعه دیگر مدوک»؛
سر یک تُنگ شراب «دگراو» را شکستم و دستش دادم. یک نفس همه‌اش را سر کشید. چشمانش با نور شدیدی درخشید. خندید و بطری را با اشاره سر و دست که مفهوم آن را درست متوجه نشدم، به طرف بالا پرتاب کرد.؛
با شگفتی به او نگاه کردم. حرکتش را دوباره تکرار کرد. حرکتی عجیب و غریب.؛
گفت: «این حرکات را بلد نیستی؟»؛
جواب دادم: «نه»؛
- پس جزو انجمن برادری نیستید.؛
- چه؟
- عضو ماسون‌ها نیستید
گفتم: «بله، بله، بله، بله!»؛
- تو؟ ماسون باشی؟ غیر ممکن است.؛
جواب دادم: «ماسون هستم»؛
گفت: «نشانه‌ات؟»؛
از زیر چین‌های شنلم ماله‌ای بیرون آوردم و گفتم: «این هم نشانه!»؛
چند قدم به عقب برداشت و گفت: «شوخی می‌کنی! ولی بگذار به آمونتیلادو برسیم»؛
گفتم: «هر طور شما بخواهید» و دوباره ابزار را زیر شنلم جا دادم و بازویم را در اختیارش گذاشتم. سنگینی خودش را روی بازویم انداخت. به راه خود برای پیدا کردن آمونتیلادو ادامه دادیم. از میان ردیفی از سقف‌های گنبدی شکل و راه‌پله‌ها به سمت پایین رفتیم و دوباره پایین‌تر رفتیم و وارد حفره عمیقی شدیم که تعفن و ناپاکی هوا باعث شد مشعل‌هایمان به جای شعله ور شدن، سو سو بزنند.؛
در دور‌ترین قسمت دخمه، دخمه‌ی کوچکتری ظاهر شد. در کنار دیوار‌هایش به شکل دخمه‌های پاریس، باقی مانده استخوان‌های انسان تا سقف روی هم انباشته شده بود. سه طرف از چهار دیوار این دخمه به همین شیوه از استخوان انباشته شده بود. درکنار چهارمین دیوار، استخوان‌ها به صورت بی‌قاعده‌ای پایین ریخته و روی زمین انباشته شده بودند و تقریبا به اندازه یک تپه بودند. متوجه شدیم در دیوار، روبه‌روی جایی که استخوان‌ها انبار شده بود، دخمه و یا فرو رفتگی دیگری وجود دارد با عمق حدودا چهار پا و عرض ۳ پا و ارتفاع حدود ۶ تا ۷ پا. به نظر می‌رسید برای هیچ منظور خاصی ساخته نشده و تنها فضای میان دو ستون عظیمی را تشکیل می‌داد که سقف سردابه‌ها را نگه می‌داشت و در پشت آن یکی از دیوارهای عمارت، که با سنگ خارا ساخته شده بود، قرار داشت.؛
فورچوناتو بیهوده کوشید مشعل کم نور خود را بالا ببرد و داخل دخمه را بکاود. نور مشعل به اندازه‌ای کم بود که نمی‌توانستیم انتهای دخمه را ببینیم.؛
گفتم: «ادامه بدهید. آمونتیلادو اینجاست همانطور که برای لوکرزی…»؛
دوستم به میان صحبتم پرید و گفت: «لوکرزی آدم نادانی است». همانطور که با قدم‌های لرزان جلو می‌��فت، من بلافاصله پا جای پا‌هایش می‌گذاشتم. در تورفتگی، زمانی که فهمید به انتهای دخمه رسیده است و در میان صخره‌ها گرفتار شده، ابلهانه سردرگم شد. یک لحظه بعد من او را به سنگ‌های خارا زنجیر کرده بودم. در سطح سنگ، دو بست آهنی بود که در فاصله دو قدمی یکدیگر به صورت افقی قرار داشتند. از یکی از آن‌ها زنجیر کوتاهی آویزان بود و از دیگری قفل. با رد کردن زنجیر‌ها از کمرش، تنها چند ثانیه طول کشید تا زنجیر‌ها را محکم کنم. آنقدر شگفت زده بود که نتوانست مقاومت کند. کلید را عقب انداختم و از فرورفتگی درون دیوار خارج شدم.؛
گفتم: «دست‌هایت را روی دیوار بکش، هر کاری کنی باز هم شوره‌ها را حس می‌کنی. در واقع دیوار خیلی مرطوب است. یکبار دیگر از شما می‌خواهم که برگردیم. نه؟ خوب پس باید شما را همین جا ترک کنم. اما اول باید هر کاری که از دستم بر می‌آید برایت انجام دهم.»؛
دوستم که هنوز از حیرت در نیامده بود، شتابزده گفت: «آمونتیلادو!»؛
جواب دادم: «بله! آمونتیلادو!»؛
با گفتن این کلمات، خودم را بین توده‌ی استخوان‌ها که قبل از این برایتان گفتم، مشغول ساختم. با کنار انداختن آن‌ها، به سرعت مقداری سنگ ساختمانی و ملات پیدا کردم. با این مواد و با کمک ماله با سرعت قسمت ورودی دخمه را دیوار گرفتم.؛
تقریبا ردیف اول از آجر‌ها را گذاشته بودم که فهمیدم مستی تا حد زیادی از سر فورچوناتو پریده است. اولین نشانه‌اش فریاد ناله‌ی آرامی بود که از عمق دخمه بیرون می‌آمد. صدای ناله یک مرد مست نبود. پس از آن سکوتی طولانی و سخت حاکم شد. دومین ردیف و پس از آن سومین و چهارمین ردیف دیوار را چیدم و پس از آن صدای ارتعاش پرهیجان زنجیر را شنیدم. صدا برای چند دقیقه که طی آن با رضایت بیشتری به صدا گوش می‌کردم، ادامه پیدا کرد. کار را متوقف کردم و پایین روی استخوان‌ها نشستم. هنگامی که در ‌‌نهایت صدای چکاچک زنجیر فروکش کرد، ماله کشیدن را دوباره از سر گرفتم و ردیف پنجم و ششم و هفتم را بدون مزاحمت به پایان رساندم. دیوار دیگر به نزدیک سی��ه‌ام رسیده بود. دوباره توقف کردم و مشعل را بالای دیوار نگه داشتم که نور ضعیفی را بر روی جسم داخل حفره انداخت. از گلوی آن جسم زنجیر شده، به ناگاه صدای فریاد بلند و جیغ‌های طولانی‌ای بیرون آمد که به نظر می‌رسید مرا با خشونت به عقب می‌راند. برای لحظه‌ای کوتاه مکث کردم؛ می‌لرزیدم. شمشیر دودم خود را از نیام بیرون کشیدم و با کمک آن در تاریکی پی چیزی در دخمه گشتم اما در یک لحظه فکری از ذهنم گذشت که به من اطمینان خاطر داد. دستم را روی مواد دیوار محکم دخمه کشیدم و احساس رضایت کردم. دوباره کنار دیوار رفتم و به فریادهای او که التماس می‌کرد جواب دادم. آن فریاد‌ها را دوباره تکرار کردم، برای بیشتر فریاد کشیدن کمکش کردم و با صدای بلند‌تر و پر قدرت‌تر از او پیشی گرفتم. فریاد زدم و باز هم صدای فریاد بیشتر و بیشتر می‌شد.؛
حالا دیگر نیمه شب شده بود و من به پایان وظیفه خود نزدیک می‌شدم و ردیف هشتم، نهم و دهم را کامل کرده بودم. بخشی از ردیف یازدهم و آخر تمام شده بود و تنها یک سنگ دیگر برای نصب روی دیوار باقی مانده بود. با وزن بالای سنگ در کش و قوس بودم و بخشی از آن را در جای نهایی‌اش قرار دادم. اما از درون دخمه صدای خفیف خنده‌ای بیرون آمد که مو را بر تنم سیخ کرد. صدای چنان غمگینی بود که به سختی می‌توانستم باور کنم صدای فورچوناتوی نجیب‌زاده است.؛
- ها‌ها‌ها! هه هه هه! شوخی خیلی خوبی است. واقعا!، یک شوخی عالی! وقتی به عمارت برگردیم کلی به آن می‌خندیم! هه هه هه! وقتی شراب می‌نوشیم! هه هه هه!؛
گفتم: «آمونتیلادو!»؛
- هه هه هه! هه هه هه! بله، آمونتیلادو! اما دیر نشده؟ خانم فورچوناتو و بقیه در عمارت منتظر ما نیستند؟ بیا از اینجا برویم.؛
گفتم: «بله، بیا برویم.»؛
- به خاطر رضای خدا مونترسور!؛
- بله، برای رضای خدا!؛
اما با شنیدن این حرف‌ها دیگر بیهوده منتظر پاسخ بودم. بی‌تاب شدم و با صدای بلند صدا زدم: فورچوناتو!؛
جوابی نیامد. دوباره صدا زدم: فورچوناتو!؛
باز هم هیچ جوابی نیامد. مشعل را از روزنه باقی مانده به درون بردم و اجازه دادم به درون دخمه بیافتد. در پاسخ تنها صدای جلینگ جلینگ زنگوله آمد. قلبم به درد آمد؛ رطوبت دخمه‌ها باعث آن شده بود. با شتاب کارم را به پایان بردم. آخرین سنگ‌ها را در جای خود گذاشتم و روی آن را گچ گرفتم. حصار قدیمی استخوان‌ها را دوباره جلوی دیوار ریختم. طی نیم قرن گذشته کسی به آن‌ها دست نزده است. روحش قرین رحمت باد. پایان متن

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 19/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,571 followers
July 30, 2017
Book Review
4+ of 5 stars to The Cask of Amontillado, a Gothic short story written in 1846, by Edgar Allan Poe. Perhaps one of my favorite of all Poe's works, this literary genius stimulates one of everyone's deepest and scariest fears: to be buried alive. Though there are several macabre options to consider, in this fantastic tale set in Italy, a man is buried alive behind a brick wall. Poe goes to great lengths to describe the process, the emotions and the setting. As a reader, you are entranced in the action, caring little about the characters or the reasons why it's happening. You read each line in fear, wondering how it will all end.

What I love about Poe's work is his ability to draw readers into a darkness that permeates all our senses. As you read the story, all five of your physical senses react to the vengeance plot he's fabricated... from the damp and dank smell of the dirt to the scraping of the mortar against the bricks, your body will twist and turn at the thought of what lengths mankind will when they are angry and hurt.

Take a chance on this one... it'll give you a great sense of who Poe was both as a writer and as a villain.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.
Profile Image for فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi .
Author 2 books3,589 followers
May 21, 2023
- قصة ظاهرها الإنتقام وباطنها الغيرة! الغيرة ممن هو افضل منه، وحين تبدأ الغيرة بالغليان على حطب الجنون، فالنتيجة ستكون القتل كما حدث في هذه القصة القصيرة! الأسلوب سلس، سوداوي، مفعم بنفس مريضة قاتمة، لكنها تجيد التخطيط للإيقاع بفريستها، مثل"الأرملة السوداء".
Profile Image for Francesc.
389 reviews192 followers
April 21, 2021
Una historia de vinos. Una historia de soberbia y traición. Una historia de venganza y muerte.

A story of wines. A story of pride and betrayal. A story of revenge and death.
Profile Image for Bionic Jean.
1,227 reviews1,059 followers
April 25, 2022
The Cask of Amontillado (1846) is a brief story by Edgar Allan Poe. It is told by an unreliable narrator, just as "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-tale Heart" are. It includes a favourite theme of Poe, which he had also used in "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839) and "The Black Cat" (1846) - that of

The story is entirely about revenge, the bottle of sherry merely being a device to entrap the victim. Although there is a theory that the story is based on a rumour circulating when Poe was in the army, it is also thought to be a story spitefully directed at another writer, Thomas Dunn English, with whom Poe was having a feud.
Profile Image for Steven Serpens.
47 reviews22 followers
May 9, 2023
CALIFICACIÓN REAL: 3.5 estrellas

En esta lectura conoceremos a Fortunato, un simpático pero desafortunado personaje que tiene la mala suerte de haber ofendido e insultado en algún momento a la persona equivocada: Montresors. Este rencoroso personaje es el protagonista de esta historia y además de ser vengativo, presenta una clara y evidente perturbación mental.

Estamos ante un relato que cuenta con lo justo y necesario, ya que no se le perciben páginas que estén demás. Eso sí, desde un comienzo queda en evidencia lo que ocurrirá, ya que el mismo protagonista indica: ‘’Me vengaría en el tiempo, esto estaba definitivamente decidido y, por lo mismo, quedaba excluida toda idea de riesgo. No solo debía castigar sino castigar impunemente. [...] Tal como lo planeé, seguía sonriendo en su presencia sin que él advirtiera que mi sonrisa se originaba en la idea de quitarle la vida’’.
En verdad, a mí no me molesta para nada la idea de que ya en las primeras líneas del texto se revele el desenlace de esta historia. El problema es su falta de contexto. ¿Cuán grave tuvo que haber sido la ofensa de Fortunato a Montresors para que este último decida matarlo planificando cuidadosamente el método e inclusive, fantasee morbosamente de la situación? No siento que el dejar cosas a la imaginación e interpretación del lector sea aplicable para este caso.

Por otra parte y de forma aparente, esta historia es narrada durante la vejez del victimario, ya que se indica que .
Algo más que llamó mi atención a diferencia de otros asesinos de Poe, es que éste muestra una cierta vacilación en algunos momentos, y de una forma más notoria en comparación a las de otros protagonistas. No deja de ser algo llamativo e interesante cuando ocurre. Le da más humanidad a este personaje y se siente más orgánico, a pesar de la falta de contexto que ya mencioné y que se contrapone en cierta medida con esto último que indiqué. Quizás sin estas vacilaciones, Montresors sería un personaje genérico más, solo que con el rol protagónico.

Como lectura es ágil, entretenida y hasta divertida por momentos. Presenta una buena y atrayente ambientación para su desarrollo. He visto que muchos critican el spoiler del desenlace que se da al comienzo, pero eso no es una queja para mí. Las únicas queja de peso que le doy es la falta de contexto, para intentar comprender al protagonista y sus motivaciones; y que le faltó algo de crudeza o brutalidad a la trama y a su desenlace, ya que que carece de esa potencia y se siente muy light como título en general. No tengo mucho más que agregar al respecto.
Y nuevamente me encuentro en problemas a la hora de calificar, ya que siento que hay que hacer alguna petición o algo así, para que Goodreads agregue las estrellas intermedias. Menciono esto porque califico con 3.5 estrellas a El barril de amontillado. Obra muy ligera, amena y simpática. Recomendada para todos quienes deseen leer algo rápido, conciso y cumplidor.

Para no perder el hilo con las demás reseñas de Narraciones extraordinarias:

- Precedida de Berenice: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
- Seguida por El retrato ovalado: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Praveen.
152 reviews281 followers
February 2, 2021
My eyes are heavy. I am trying to sleep. Sleep is evading me. Restlessness is here.

This is a new place. I have come here for some time. It's an outskirt of a small town in northern India. I will stay here for some days. It’s night. It’s almost 11 o clock at night. Here is silence everywhere. Complete tranquility. Just beyond there is a concrete factory. Some machine is still working there. A faint grinding sound is reaching my room. There is no other sound outside. It’s dark. Dead dark. ….No… Wait… There is one more sound… tick ...tick.. tick…it’s a clock on the wall. The needle of the second is making a noise every second. I am trying to sleep. It’s not coming.

Though, I am tired. Mr. EDGAR ALLAN POE is coming to my mind. I don’t know why? I wish to read him. It’s a perfect ambiance. Though I know my brain is not focused. I am exhausted. I still long to read him. I am rolling over his titles on my iPad. I want something short. Here it is. This one is just 12-pages. I have opened it. It is THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO. I am reading this. I have finished it. It is really short. In a few pages, only dialogues. A quick read. I think I have sensed the story. This is not that great. Just OK! Now sleep is overcoming me. I am sleeping. GOOD NIGHT!

This is the next morning. I have woken up early. I am leaving the bed. The story is flashing in my mind. But it is blurred. It is very filmy, unclear. My mind is fresh. I want to write a short review on GR. I will give it three-star. Not more than that. I am thinking. I am ready to write, first on paper but I am not getting anything. I remember an avenger had taken revenge. But I am feeling nothing. What was the story? I knew that at night. But I want to visualize! I am not able to. Did I read it in delirium? I decide I will read it again after the bath. I read it again. This time I am keeping a lexicon alongside. I am jotting down these words arrowing them like an uninteresting baby, on a paper.


Can you see the sequence of these words is hinting at the storyline? I am minting them one by one in my mind. It is over. OK. Now I know how it was happening there. I can now visualize. I was missing the Italian flavor. A VAULT was something else for me at night. It is a true Italian word. It is clear now… Same with VINTAGE… It was something else at night. In the morning it became wine, an Italic wine. I had forgotten the story was based in Italy. In the same way, I know all of them now, the Italian way! While re-reading the story, this quote is becoming more and more clear to me now.

“I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.”

I am ready for the review now. Here I am writing it. IT’S NOT A THREE-STAR. IT’S A FIVE-STAR NOW. I think this story is not only about horror. This story did not terrify me at all. I read it twice. I was not affrighted both times. It looked lyrical. It was all jest until the last. It was like a drama. I think I should not call it a story. It is just an act. I think the quote mentioned above in the very first part of this story settles the purport of the story.

The tale is something like this.

Two men, one mortifies, the other disparaged, both moving on, side by side, unaware of each other’s intentions, their arms intertwined as if of two best buddies. One is drunk in Italian vintage wine. Other is also drunk but in vengeance. Both smiling, making jokes, concerning each other, the disparaged one taking all subtle cares of the mortifier, slowly and willingly both reaching to the remotest part of a crypt of a catacomb, and among all this merriment, an act of retribution is performed by the avenger, in such a way that it could only be perceived 50 years later. The perfect execution!

In my comprehension, this is not just about horror or a tale of retribution. It’s is something else. I am lacking the exact word on how to define it. I think this is a FARRAGO. This is an interfusion of the art of narration of Poe with the subtlety of a perfect crime execution. Perhaps this story is a mélange of horror, retribution, and psychoanalysis. But whatever it is...It is something unprecedented!


I will read to you again after going back to my place!
320 reviews348 followers
April 28, 2020
احتملت من فورتيناتو ألف مساءة ومساءة، لكنه أجترأ على بالإهانة فأقسمت لانتقمن منه.
دفعتنى هذه القصة القصيرة للبحث والقراءة عن أركان الجريمة وأهم دوافع ارتكاب أى جريمة، واكتشفت أن كتب القانون تستهل دوافع الجريمة بــ (حب الانتقام والثأر من الآخرين) فلا عجب إذن أن نجد القصة التى بين أيدينا عن الانتقام والثأر معاً، هنا مونتريزور صاحب الجاه والسلطان المُنقضى تدفعه الغيرة من صاحب الجاه والسلطان الحالى لدفنه فى قبو قصره حياً، الانتقام أيضاً كان حاضراً فجلسات الأغنياء لا تخلو من السمر واللهو الزائدين فمن المحتمل أن فورتيناتو أهان صديقه قليلاً فقرر صديقه أن ينتقم منه بعدما تجمعت لديه دوافع عدة كالـــــغيرة من سلطان وجاه قائمين وإهانــــــات متكررة فقرر مونتريزور أن يستدرج صديقه إلى قبو بحجة تجربة نبيذ الأمونتيدللادو.
الحية التى تلتف حولك لتعرز ناباها فى عنقك، كما عرف شعار عائلته
قدم عظيمة من الذهب فى حقل لازوردى، والقدم تدوس حية قائمة وناباها مغروزان فى الكعب
إذن هى جينات تعيش داخل كل منا، فمنا المطمئن للناس والمستأنس بهم ومنا من هو مونتريزور الحية التى تلتف لتلدغ فى مكان مميت.
لا أمن لمن يستفزنى
سيكرهونك لأنك محبوب وعزيز ومُكرِم وسعيد وستطمئن لهم لأن هذه عادتك ونيتك الصفية الصافية.
المطمئن بالناس والمستأنس بهم، يُعامل الناس جميعاً على أنهم أنقياء أصفياء حتى يثبت العكس، للأسف قليلاً ما يجد الوفاء من الناس فى المقابل فعلى الدوام سيجد من يلتف حوله وينصب له الشرك المناسب مستغلاً حبه لشئ ما أو شخص ما ويلدغه لدغة مميتة.
Profile Image for Lizzy.
305 reviews166 followers
September 14, 2016
"I must not only punish but punish with impunity”
Have you ever thought how revenge could be at its worst? Well, Poe with his dark ingenuity gives us a splendid lesson. A scary glimpse to the idea of revenge carried with meticulous precision. Poe presents us a placid and dark story that is deception at its finest.
“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled --but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk.”
Did Fortunato indeed insulted our narrator? For no explanation is given to the cause, the reader just hears the voice of the narrator and his suposed humiliation. Would you simply take an insult, or avenge yourself? As I was reading along, I wondered: is this only a threat, a scare or will the narrator only be satisfied with the inexorable demise? But there are omens, if we wish to recognize them.
“A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.”
First I read calmly until suddenly the dark climate hit me, and I wondered: how did it all comes to that? What an atmosphere of foreboding Poe is able to conjure with so few words. The scary image of death in progress.
“I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.”
The story is placid and dark as starless night sky. Deception at its finest interpretation. Something you will not see in any other story, as far as I can remember. The image of the impetus of death unfolding, a gradual build up to the very end.
Profile Image for Mohsin Maqbool.
85 reviews67 followers
November 26, 2017

The Cask of Amontillado is one of Edgar Allan Poe's darkest tales and loved by people all over the world as it is Gothic horror at its best.
The narrator, Montresor, opens the story by stating that he has been insulted by his acquaintance, Fortunato, on numerous occasions and he wants to exact revenge. However, he wants to do so in a measured way without raising any suspicion. He knows that Fortunato is a connoisseur of wine. He approaches Fortunato during a carnival wearing a mask of black silk. He tells Fortunato that he has bought some wine that could be Amontillado, a light Spanish sherry. Fortunato (Italian for “fortunate”) wears the multi-coloured costume of the court jester, including a cone cap with bells.

Is the shadow of the rat
A sign of soon-to-come death?

Montresor is an extremely shrewd person and wants Fortunato to play into his hands, so he tells him that if he is too busy, he will ask a man named Luchesi to taste the wine. Fortunato scoffs on hearing this. He claims that Luchesi could not differentiate between Amontillado and other types of sherry.
Fortunato is eager to taste the wine so that he could determine for Montresor whether it is truly Amontillado. Fortunato insists that they go to Montresor’s vaults. So the latter quickly takes the former there. He had already told his servants that he would return in the morning and he wanted none of them to leave the house during his absence. He knew too well that they would consider this to be an excellent chance to go the carnival, leaving the house all for himself.

Is this the passage to death?

How will Montresor take revenge on Fortunato once they are in the underground vaults? Or will his conscience get the better of him, making him change his mind at the last minute? Will it be Fortunato who will be fortunate enough to read Montresor’s mind and make good his escape in the nick of time? Read the story and find out yourself.

So much to fear
Doomsday is near.

Colour and costume play a major part in this short story. Montresor wears a black silk mask. A mask acts like a shield covering one’s true motives. Black is mostly associated with evil, dark and the underworld. Silk is smooth which could also allude to a smooth and slippery person. The vaults are underground which is pitch black, so they could be easily associated with the underworld where sinister and macabre things take place.
Fortunato is wearing a multi-coloured costume of the court jester. Multi-coloured could stand for a lively person, which Fortunato is. However, court jesters are renowned for their buffoonery and foolishness. There is every likelihood that Fortunato might turn out to be a fool and easily lured into Montresor’s trap.

Edgar Allan Poe
With the fab four.
Those who want more
Head for the vault door.
Profile Image for Sanjay Gautam.
222 reviews441 followers
April 26, 2016

Loved the way Poe portrayed this tale of revenge; climax was unexpected but left me quite satisfied.
Profile Image for Janete on hiatus due health issues.
655 reviews264 followers
November 25, 2019
An audiobook in Portuguese. "The story is set in a nameless Italian city in an unspecified year (possibly sometime during the eighteenth century) and concerns the deadly revenge taken by the narrator on a friend who he claims has insulted him. Like several of Poe's stories, and in keeping with the 19th-century fascination with the subject, the narrative revolves around a person being buried alive – in this case, by immurement."
Profile Image for Traveller.
228 reviews714 followers
December 23, 2021
Disturbometer: 8-9 out of 10
One of the entries in my “list of most disturbing short stories ever”, which I am thankfully almost at the end of.

In a way, writers of dark fiction hem themselves in to a large extent. People who are familiar with their work, come to expect horror from them, and so their reputation tends to blunt the effect of the horror they attempt to inflict on their readers. So my disturbometer rating doesn’t mean that nothing awful happens in this story – something awful certainly does happen. And, as with many of Poe’s tales, the biggest horror lies in the twisted mind of the narrator.

EDIT (Dec. 23 2021) : Taking the paragraph above in mind, in the comment section below, GR friend Richard linked to a song on Youtube named The Cask of Amontillado, by The Alan Parsons Project.

That song kind of extracted the bare essence of this story for me:
Fortunato might not have been a very nice person himself, and that much the story does make clear, but it needed the song for me to realize the full horror that Fortunato must have experienced at the end, and caused me to up my disturbometer from 7 to 8-9.

Regarding the narrator, one has to ask yourself what kind of person smiles and fusses over a person that they are purposely leading to an extremely unpleasant death? What kind of person feels hatred for another person, but yet expresses friendship and concern towards that person? An extremely twisted and a pretty creepy kind of person, that’s for sure. So once again, as is often found in Poe's works, we have an unsympathetic protagonist.

The story takes place during an Italian carnival, so there are crowds on the streets, wearing costumes and masks while drinking and merrymaking, which adds a lurid, unreal quality to the background setting of the tale.

The story takes a sinister turn when our narrator, on the pretext of judging the quality of a casket of Amontillado*, leads his inebriated friend into the catacombs of the Montresor family mausoleum, where, as was the custom in ye olden days, the bodies of the dead were placed, usually in caskets, into niches made in the walls. But the wood of caskets can get old and rot in the damp, thereby partly or wholly exposing its morbid contents. So it's a suitably macabre setting, with skeletons serving as silent witnesses to the proceedings. Said proceedings being, Montresor taking truly diabolical revenge on his so-called friend, Fortunato. (Read the story to find out exactly how - it's very short.)

As part of my edit after hearing and watching the song on Youtube, I've also reflected on what Montresor was figuratively doing to Fortunato. He was basically removing Fortunato from sight completely, and was in a very literal way, removing him from society, blocking him from stealing Montresor's "shine", and removing him from the scene both literally and figuratively. Did that work out for Montresor? Well, it is hinted at that Montresor might have had his regrets after all, but as with all unreliable narrators, one never knows.

In my first reflections upon this story, I was thinking: “Ha, Poe has set a story of revenge in a land ripe with vengeance, the land that spawned the Mafia, an organization that receives its power from the threat of revenge." But then, revenge is also generally speaking a very Latin thing, isn’t it? The Spanish are culturally very much into revenge as well, and here my mind moved to Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold, a tale about a revenge in defense of an honor system that was so culturally ingrained, that bloody, deadly revenge was the expected thing when the honor of a family was sullied according to the norms of that culture.

‘Honor’ (which is a culturally contextual thing) was also very popularly 'defended’ by having duels, not just by the Spanish, but by Europeans of all stripes in the early nineteenth, the eighteenth, and earlier centuries, and honor, especially family honor, was a legitimate thing to defend to the death not just in Europe/Russia, but in the Middle-East as well. Ok, so notions of ‘honor’ and revenge is a pretty universal occurrence, especially in patriarchal settings.

Be that as it may, many writers like to set their tales of “revenge in order to defend the family honor” in Italy – as did Shakespeare with his tragic Romeo and Juliet, and Guy de Maupassant with his story “A Vendetta”. And so it is with The Casque of Amontillado. We are never explicitly told why the narrator wants to take revenge, beyond hints that personal pride and possibly family honor is involved.

The narrator, a member of the Montresor family, which was once rich and illustrious, but had in the meantime fallen from grace, says to his ‘friend’ Fortunato : “You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was.”
This seems to hint at the idea that the narrator somehow blames Fortunato for his current lack of happiness – whether it be by direct or even only implied insult. But we never get to know the exact nature of this insult, and it is implied that Fortunato, an arrogant big-mouth, already knows the reason, since he never asks why he is being punished, but seems to automatically grasp, finally, at the end, that this is what is happening.

Another hint that this revenge might be inspired by defending family honor, is that the family crest of the Montresors features a foot trampling on a snake which is biting the same foot in the heel, with the motto: No one can harm me unpunished.

I’ve seen suggestions that Poe wrote this tale as a ‘revenge’ tale against another writer who lampooned Poe and made fun of him. If this were true, it certainly then makes sense that Poe would leave the exact nature of the insult over to the imagination.

However it may be, as usual, Poe doesn’t spoonfeed us on all of the details – he makes subtle hints and leaves the reader to sweat it out as to exactly what is going on. For all we know, this narrator, as seems to be the case with a few of his other narrators, may also be insane. I read the story as a part of a Poe collection named Tales of Mystery and Imagination, and yes, mystery there is aplenty.

*Amontillado is a variety of sherry wine characterized by being darker than fino but lighter than oloroso. It is named after the Montilla region of Spain, where the style originated in the 18th century, although the name "Amontillado" is sometimes used commercially as a simple measure of colour to label any sherry lying between a fino and an oloroso.

Some sources say a 'pipe' of Amontillado, would be a huge round wooden casket of about 130 gallons, or 492 liters containing the wine, other sources say a pipe can vary from 350 to over 600 liters. It seems partly to have varied over time, in the past 200 years or so. I suppose it also varies from region to region. It's one of those big caskets that you tend to see in wine cellars, in any case.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,133 followers
October 20, 2016
"Revenge is a dish best served cold."........hehehe

Oh No! Another carnival, but this time set in 18th century Italy.....with a tipsy jester, the connoisseur of fine wine, and a super creepy atmosphere in the pitch black dampness of the catacombs far below where a deadly revenge is put to bed. Yikes!


(enjoyed it more second time around!)

Profile Image for Aishu Rehman.
817 reviews735 followers
June 1, 2019
Have no idea why this is rated so highly. It's a story about someone taking revenge but there's nothing particurarly elaborate about the revenge itself. The Pit and the Pendulum had at least suspense, good descriptions and ingenuity, but this is basically nothing.
Profile Image for Maliha.
219 reviews134 followers
May 13, 2021
Montresor: You only hate me because I lured you into a wine cellar on the promise of a fine vintage and then left you to die in a wall. Grow up.

Honestly I don't think I get enough credit for all the people I DIDN'T wall up in the wine cellar due to an unspecified personal grudge.
Profile Image for Stacey.
874 reviews161 followers
July 13, 2017
Oh, for the love of wine. This was frighteningly creepy!
Profile Image for Sara.
Author 1 book486 followers
January 7, 2020
I have read this story probably a dozen times and today I realized something I had missed in all those readings--they were young. Montresor and Fortunato were young men when this happened. And that has changed my entire perception of this story, making it even more horrible than it has ever been to me.

One of my favorite Poe stories, I find it so revealing of both men's characters. False pride and hubris drive them both. I marvel at how Poe can not only sketch a story, but also a character, in so few pages.
Profile Image for Dimitri.
793 reviews196 followers
November 2, 2017
"Well, Bart, your Uncle Arthur used to have a saying: "Shoot 'em all and let God sort 'em out.' Unfortunately, one day he put his theory into practice. It took 75 federal marshals to bring him down. Now, let's never speak of him again."


In Latin, the Simpsons could substitute the Montrésor family motto: Nemo me impune lacessit . maybe Montrésor should stop listening to the voices in his head?

This is really a story that needs to be read in your teens and again when you're older and hopefully, wiser. Because underneath the gratification of vengeance, there stands a wood into which Montrésor does not which to lead us. He might find himself lost in the mists of his imagination.
On the surface, it is easy to identify with our protagonist as he has suffered a thousand slights. We all know at least one Fortunato, especially in high school.

In later life, when we have presumably learned to maintain our dignity in the face of low insults, the stakes are raised. The arena can be a professional setting to which we are shackled by economic necessity, returning daily to the chafing of the cubicle and the nitrate of water cooler gossip. It may even be an arena of our own construct in which we suffer the stalemate of abusive relationships, whether its scars are visible on the skin or not.

By measure of violent and unbridled emotion, we would like to condemn our personal Fortunato to the most languid and contemplative manner of death known to man. Or woman. Our parting words before the last brick goes into place might even contain a pun on the name. There would be none of the sophisticated mechanical systems in place to alert anyone to The Premature Burial which were in vogue in Poe's time*.


On second thought, If an insult to the family name was the straw that broke the camel's back, then why not simply resort to the gentleman's tradition of cold steel? Given the Venetian setting, either party was unlikely to perish: Italians had a reputation for squeamishness, with honour satisfied at the slightest draw of blood.

”The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.”

What is the nature of the thousand precedents that warrant this instance? We shall learn nothing of this from the mouth of our narrator, unless, for all his insight into the psyche of other men, he betrays himself to both the audience and the fool. Needless to say, he commits this error on two separate occasions, even before the two characters meet at the Carnaval:

"He had a weak point—this Fortunato—although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine [but] in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially: I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could".

And more overtly in the discreet safety of the catacombs. Fortunato, however, fails to detect the veiled threat in his imbibed state.

"You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter".

He lures his victim with Pride. Yet which of the seven cardinal sins drive him? Mere Anger, or Envy? Does Montrésor find his vineyard expertise outmatched, has it driven him to financial ruin? Has his standing in the community suffered accordingly? His lineage stretches back centuries, but what about the pedigree of Fortunato? Do we witness the proverbial clash between the old nobility and the nouveau riche?

The part of Fortunato in the situation is particularly foggy; the opening statement hints at a gradual deterioration of their acquaintance. Yet even in sobriety he remains oblivious to a fault. It is also impossible to determine whether Montrésor misreads him. I am disinclined to think that a singular incident pushed him over the edge. Whatever the origins of his silent wrath, Montrésor is a man consumed. His thirst for revenge seems to stem as much from his character as from any wrongdoing by Fortunato’s hand.

”You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat… I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face.”

The measure of his cold-blooded predetermination is manifested once more in an understated manner before we descend into the family catacombs:

"There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honor of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned."

Fortunato certainly shows himself to be a persistent personality, to the point of stubbornness when reinforced by wine. He deflects repeated perverse offers to turn back from the damp atmosphere of the vaults. Right before the trap springs, he betrays a certain callousness which is the only hint that Montrésor may be not wholly unjustified in his set-up.

“Proceed,” I said; “herein is the Amontillado. As for Luchesi— ” “He is an ignoramus,” interrupted my friend.”

Is this casual dismissal how he treats people to their face? Or is it merely the outspokenness of youth? Because the final, contect reflection by Montrésor on the fate of his friend utterly shatters the mental image I spontaneously glimpsed. Fortunato was to have a rotund figure, the face beset by fleshy jowls, the wrinkles of the forties smoothed out by the fat under the skin. Montrésor appeared to me as a sort of Duke of Alba: impeccable in both dress and manners, with a streak of gray through his Van Dyke beard.

Imagine the words "But I must first render you all the little attentions in my power.” - with thàt look.

Yet unless the latter has achieved a longevity uncommon to the dawn of the 19th century, this was a young man’s game played out as the Bastille was stormed. Fortunate’s demise almost foreshadows that of the Venice Empire:

“For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.”

A reader well vested in vestments will pick up on this sooner, amidst what is in my view a rare moment of hilarity, provided that your tastes run as dark as the subaquatic tunnels. It can certainly be played to comic effect on the screen.

“A mason,” I replied.
“A sign,” he said.
“It is this,” I answered, producing a trowel from beneath
the folds of my roquelaire.
“You jest,” he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces. “But let us proceed to the Amontillado.”

For the narrative flow, it matters little exactly what a roquelaire is; only some sort of cape could’ve served the purpose of concealment. The fact that Montrésor keeps his mason tool on his person is a bit odd; whèn exactly did he hide it there? He bows his vistor through his palazzo into the catacombs speedily. Did he have it with him at the Carnaval? Why not hide it under the bones together with his stones and mortar?
Maybe Poe chose the term roquelaire to throw his more faithful readers off the scent“A lined and trimmed cloak that reaches to the knees, often with bright-coloured lining and trimmed with fur. [from 18th c] : The Tell-Tale Heart predates the Cask of Amontillado by three years (1843). This time, there would be no justice for the assassin.

*Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear by Jan Bondeson
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