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What would be a good thesis statement about revenge in "The Cask of Amontillado?"

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Lena91 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted December 6, 2012 at 12:41 AM via web

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What would be a good thesis statement about revenge in "The Cask of Amontillado?"

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 6, 2012 at 1:55 AM (Answer #1)

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Because the story is entirely about revenge, a thesis statement could cover any number of possible topics, from potential consequences to the debate over exactly what "injury" Fortunato enacted on Montresor. One good theme is the correlation between pure revenge and Montresor's warped sense of morality and justice. Montresor explicitly states that his revenge is both justified and should not be considered a crime, even though he understands that it will be a criminal act.

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. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser.
(Poe, "The Cask of Amontillado," croads.virginia.edu)

Despite this, he goes through with his plan without a second thought. Montresor therefore thinks of justice as a moral balance, with "sides" between people capable of being tipped to one side or another. Since he assumes that no other will avenge him, he must take revenge without having another "injury" (such as imprisonment) done to him in turn.

An example of a thesis using these themes would be: "Montresor's revenge is, in his mind, entirely moral according to his ideas of personal honor, but he still understands that his act would be seen as wrong in the public eye."

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