The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

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 What is the theme of "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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It's possible that Poe intended this tale's principal theme to be a moral one, that of the wrongness of seeking revenge. If so, however, we would have to account for the fact that the avenger in this case is not subjected to any retribution against him for the crime of murder, and a gruesome murder at that. This "madman," unlike those in the "Tell-tale Heart" and "The Black Cat," gets away with it. He's not even shown suffering guilt, fifty years later, though it's possible that despite his neutral, unperturbed tone in narrating the story, he's unburdening his soul by making a cathartic revelation. Given the length of time that has passed since he killed Fortunato, Montresor must now be a very old man, especially by the standards of Poe's time and more so earlier, when the story evidently takes place.

Poe's stories, unlike those of his contemporary Hawthorne with which he had much in common, generally don't present themes involving...

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