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Cask of Amontilado

             Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" ends with the murder of Fortunato by the protagonist, Montresor. The story previous to this event is merely Montresor describing his want for revenge and the story of how he carries it out. Through the dialogue, symbols, and certain play on words, Poe foreshadows this inevitable death.
             It is evident in the conversations between Montresor and Fortunato that Fortunato will die by the hands of Montresor. While walking through the catacombs where the alleged Amontillado is kept, Fortunato's cold worsens. He coughs, " 'the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me.' 'True-true'(169)," Montresor then replied. By saying this, Montresor is implying that rather than dying from sickness, Fortunato will die of other means. From the multitude of times Montresor speaks of revenge towards Fortunato, it is inferred that, by the quote, Montresor means to kill him. In this sense, their conversations foreshadow forthcoming events such as Fortunato's death.
             Symbols, such as Montresor's family arms, also foreshadow Fortunato's impending death. Still walking through the catacombs, the drunk Fortunato questions Montresor of his arms. Montresor describes it as a foot stepping on a snake which in return bites the foot. In this case, Montresor is the snake who was initially dealt a "thousand injuries(166)," The family motto is "Nemo me impune lacessit(170)," which translates roughly to "no one harms me with impunity." The snakes venom would kill the owner of the foot, just as Montresor's revenge leads to the murder of Fortunato.
             Certain play on words also foreshadow the death of Fortunato. The title for example is a huge clue. "The Cask of Amontillado" is a play on words. Cask is short for casket, and as Montresor is leading Fortunato to the cask of wine, he is also leading him to his grave. Even the container of the wine that inspired Fortunato to come along is a symbol foreshadowing the final event: Fortunato's death.

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