Hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to make a point. The Cask of Amontillado is full of examples of hyperbole, which help to create an atmosphere of suspense and fear.
One example of hyperbole can be found in the opening lines of the story, when Montresor says that he has been hurt “a thousand times” by Fortunato. This is clearly an exaggeration, but it sets the stage for the revenge that Montresor is planning.
Later in the story, we see another example of hyperbole when Montresor describes how he has been digging the tunnel for weeks. Again, this is an exaggeration, but it helps to create a sense of suspense by making it seem like Montresor has been planning his revenge for a long time.
Finally, the most famous example of hyperbole in The Cask of Amontillado comes at the end of the story, when Montresor says that Fortunato will be ” forever entombed” in the wall. This exaggeration creates a sense of horror and finality, which helps to make the story even more memorable.
The narrator is saying that he had endured a thousand injuries from Fortunato, but when Fortunato insulted him, he vowed revenge. The line does not make me more sympathetic to the narrator/murderer. The narrator comes across as being very vengeful and bloodthirsty.
“It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong,” Montresor explains. In your own words, describe what this means. The term Montresor says he should “avenge” but must not only kill his victim but also get away with the crime (“A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser”). As with the previous part of the phrase, it means how Fortunato should know exactly what occurred and why he was murdered.
The word “redressed” also implies that not only should the victim die, but their death should in some way repay or set right the original wrong. The Cask of Amontillado is full of hyperbole. From Montresor’s grandiose descriptions of his palatial home to Fortunato’s drunken antics, the story is rife with examples of exaggeration.
Perhaps the most famous instance of hyperbole in the story is Montresor’s declaration that he will not rest until Fortunato “is within my grasp.” Of course, we know that Montresor does eventually catch up to Fortunato and kill him, so in this case, the hyperbole turns out to be true.
Another example of hyperbole can be found in Montresor’s statement that his heart is “sick” with anger. As hyperbole goes, this is a rather tame example; however, it still serves to underscore the narrator’s intense dislike of Fortunato. In short, The Cask of Amontillado is full of examples of exaggeration and hyperbole, which help to create an air of suspense and intrigue.
What is it about Montresor that lends him such a sinister presence? Give an example from a book you’ve read or a movie or television show you’ve seen in which this sort of villain exists. Montresor is an especially effective adversary to Fortunato since he fully trusts Montresor. Within the film I watched, Star Wars, there was a character who was similar to Montresor in that he sought revenge and befriended the protagonist before luring him into a trap and ambushing him and killing him.
The key difference between the two is that Montresor seems to be very convincing and hides his anger well, where as the antagonist from Star Wars was much more unsubtle with his anger and hatred. The ability to be convincing and hide his anger makes Montresor a much more effective enemy.
“The thousand wounds I had endured as best as I was able, but when he went too far, I swore vengeance,” it says in the hyperbolic line. Obviously, Fortunato has injured Montresor only a few times throughout his life.
This is an example of hyperbole used for effect, to show how much Montresor hates Fortunato. The hyperbole exaggerates the number of injuries to make a point about how many times Fortunato has hurt Montresor, both physically and emotionally.
Another example of hyperbole in The Cask of Amontillado occurs when Montresor says “my heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so.” The sickness he’s referring to is not physical, but emotional. The hyperbole here emphasizes the intensity of his feelings, showing how upset he is at Fortunato’s insults.
“The voice said–‘Ha! ha! ha! –he! he! he! –a very good joke, indeed –an excellent jest. We will have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo –he! he! he! –over our wine –he! he! he!’ ‘The Amontillado!'” The three men laughing here are not actually at the palazzo, nor are they drinking wine. The hyperbole is used to show how amused they are at Montresor’s expense.
Montresor says, “I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.
I took from their sconces two flambeaux, and giving one to Fortunato, bowed him through several suites of rooms to the archway that led into the vaults.” The orders Montresor gave should not have been sufficient to make his servants leave, especially since he told them he wouldn’t be back until morning. The hyperbole is used for dramatic effect, to show how confident Montresor is in his plan.
At the end of the story, when Montresor has entombed Fortunato alive, he says “In pace requiescat!” This means “Rest in peace!” but it’s a bit of an ironic statement, given that Fortunato is not resting in peace at all. The hyperbole underscores the horrific nature of Montresor’s act.
Each of these examples demonstrates how hyperbole is used in The Cask of Amontillado to create a heightened sense of drama and suspense. The exaggerated language ramps up the tension and makes the story more compelling.