Hyperbole is an exaggeration used by an author for a particular effect. Hyperbole can be used to heighten drama or even to create humor, such as in a satire.
Edgar Allan Poe's famous story "The Cask of Amontillado" begins, as the question states, with an example of hyperbole. Our first-person narrator Montresor asserts,
The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. (paragraph 1)
Montresor exaggerates the literal number of "injuries" perpetrated upon him by Fortunato. The use of hyperbole here tells us more about how offended Montresor is by the wrongs than the actual number of times Fortunato has crossed him. In this case, Poe uses hyperbole to start the story with an extreme and dramatic statement, which sets the tone for the rest of the story. Montresor's anger at his sense of being wronged is what drives and motivates him throughout the story. His plot to exact revenge on Fortunato is elaborate and extreme, just like the...
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