Figurative Language In The Cask Of Amontillado

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ophelious | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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That's a good question!  The answer is: Yes!  "The Cask of Amontillado" contains good examples of figurative language.

First, let's work from a common definition of "figurative language."  This literary term refers to the use of words and phrases that go beyond a literal meaning.  The most common examples of these are: metaphor, simile, symbolism, and personification.  There are others that are a little rarer, but these are the big ones.

Now, let's look at the text to try to find examples.  I can give you three pretty easily:

  1. "THE THOUSAND INJURIES of Fortunato I had borne as I best could." Well, here we are with one of the "rarer" ones (I guess they are not all that uncommon after all!)  This is an example of hyperbole.  This is the fancy name given to when a writer makes an exaggeration.  In this case, I doubt the narrator could have actually endured "1000 injuries."  He just says that for effect.
  2. “I drink,” he said, “to the buried that repose around us.” “And I to your long life.” There is a bit of irony used here, considering what the narrator has in store for Fortunado.
  3. “A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.” This is his family "sign."  It is a great symbol. Just look at what he is doing...he feels that Fortunato has wronged him (the snake) and it is his destiny to crush him (the foot.)

These are just a few...if you look closely I am sure you will find others.