What would be a metaphor in "The Cask of Amontillado?"

3 Answers | Add Yours

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Let us remember that a metaphor is a form of figurative language that compares one thing with something else, normally something that is very different from it. It is different from a simile because a metaphor asserts a direct comparison and does not use the words "like" or "as." If we examine this excellent story closely, we can therefore see that it contains a number of different examples of metaphors. The first one that I came across comes just as Montresor and Fortunato are entering the catacombs:

He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication.

Notice the way that this metaphor compares the eyes of Fortunato to "two filmy orbs." Such a description, combined with the words that follow, serve to highlight the way that Fortunato is drunk and not in control of his actions--a fact that Montresor of course exploits to the full.

jameadows's profile pic

jameadows | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

There are a few examples of metaphorical language in "The Cask of Amontillado." For example, in describing the nitre (or "niter"), or a kind of chemical that is also called potassium nitrate or saltpeter, the narrator, Montresor, says, "It hangs like moss upon the vaults." This is a simile, a comparison that uses "like" or "as," a kind of metaphorical language. In this simile, the nitre, which forms in crystals that grow in encrustations, is compared to the growth of moss along the wall. Another metaphor occurs when the narrator says, "Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row of its fellows that lay upon the mould." In this metaphor, the bottle is compared to one of a series of friends sitting in a row.

winchestergal18's profile pic

winchestergal18 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Wouldn't the Amontillado be a metaphor for itself? If metaphors compares two things that are normally unlike and the Amontillado is unlike itself wouldn't it be a metaphor for itself? The Amontillado is Fortunato's love and desire yet it is also the complete opposite. It is also what causes the death of Fortunato. Is that correct?

We’ve answered 317,573 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question