The Cask of Amontillado starts with an example of hyperbole. Identify the hyporbole.

1 Answer | Add Yours

sciftw's profile pic

sciftw | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Hyperbole is an exaggerated statement or claim that is not meant to be taken literally.  One of my favorite hyperbole phrases is from the movie "The Sandlot."  The character "Smalls" doesn't understand a lot of the baseball slang.  His lack of knowledge is always surprising "Ham" Porter.  Porter's response is always "You're killing me, Smalls!"  Of course Smalls is not actually killing Porter.  It's hyperbole.  

In Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" the opening line is as follows:  

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

Montressor is likely exaggerating the exact number of injuries done to him by Fortunato.  At one injury per day, that would have taken Fortunato 2.74 years to give Montressor that many injuries.  That assumes that the two men saw each other every day.  If they saw each once per week, that many injuries would have taken over 19 years.  Montressor is using hyperbole to stress his point that Fortunato has injured him a lot.  

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,916 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question