Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” is about revenge. It was first published in 1846. The protagonist, Montresor, has been wronged by his rival, Fortunato, who insulted and humiliated him at a masquerade ball. He plans to avenge Fortunato by luring him into a dark cellar and burying him alive.
As the story is told from Montresor’s perspective, the reader is never sure if Montresor will actually go through with his plan. At one point, the narrator even says that he feels sorry for Fortunato but then goes on to describe his plan for revenge, and the story ends with Montresor revealing that he did, in fact, bury Fortunato alive.
The theme of this short story is that revenge can be just as bad as what you are trying to get back at someone for doing to you. It also shows how revenge can lead people to do things they would never have thought about doing before.
“The Cask of Amontillado” is often studied for its use of irony and symbolism. In many ways, it uses these literary devices to convey a message about how revenge can lead to a downward spiral that can be difficult to stop once it starts.