The theme is a very important aspect of a short story; it is one of the most important parts of the story's layout. The theme is the controlling idea that the author is trying to convey to the reader in his work. Edgar Allen Poe was a writer who used a dark and negative theme in his works. "The Cask of Amontillado" is no different; in this work the main theme that Poe utilizes is revenge, a perfect example of a dark and negative theme.
Revenge is sworn at the beginning of the story by the character Montresor, who is also the narrator. He believes that he has been insulted by a rich and powerful man, named Fortunato, and therefore wants revenge against Fortunato. Montresor knows Fortunato as a "man to be respected even feared." He also knows that Fortunato prides himself on his connoisseurship in wine, so Montresor realizes this is the mighty Fortunato's weak point and using this against him, like an Achilles heel, he can have his revenge. .
Montresor wants an eye for an eye, expressed as he says, "It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong." This expresses how much pain Fortunato has given Montresor but it also shows how much Montresor wants to avenge Fortunato. As is important to any murder theme, Montresor wants to "punish but to punish with impunity," which means he wants to get away with murder, a similar goal to any slayer.
Fortunato's indulgence in wine is clearly his downfall and is very important to the story. That is the only way Montresor is able to lure Fortunato to his own death. Montresor is also very devious in the way that he lures Fortunato. He knows that a connoisseur of wine like Fortunato cannot resist tasting the drink Amontillado. To make it even more tempting, Montresor repeatedly tells Fortunato that his other friend Luchresi wanted to taste the wine too. To this point Montresor has sold Fortunato a believable story and the somewhat drunk Fortunato has no objections.