~ What Are The Critics Saying About “The Cask of Amontillado”? ~

There are many critics for Edgar Allan Poe’s short story ” The Cask of Amontillado”.  From Carlson University of Connecticut, critic Thomas Ollive Mabbot’s interpretation suggests that Poe uses unsurpassed subtly ironic touches in this short story.  On the surface of this story it appears to be completely amoral.  Mabbot states, “This is the most moral of his stories.”  Mabbot believes the fact that Montresor entombed his rival, Fortunato, alive in a catacomb suggests a desire to unburden the soul of his secret guilt.  Also, Mabbot points out the subtle irony used for the character’s name Fortunato.  The meaning of the word Fortunato is fortunate and fated.  Fortunato’s character is also described by Montresor as rich, respected, admired and beloved.  Montresor says to Fortunato, ” You are happy as I once was.”  Mabbot appreciates Poe’s unique irony behind the meaning of his chosen words in this short story.  This is one of many ways that made Poe an impressionable writer and poet.(Carbon)

Another critic named Eric W. Carbon from Carlson University of Connecticut asks questions like, ” Was he as demented as the protagonists of his horror tales?” or ” Was he as analytical or psychic as theheroes of his detective and mystery stories?”  Eric believes in order to write such detailed and impressionable work than the author probably also has a demented or psychic mind.  Eric states, ” One cannot walk, quack, and swim like a duck unless they have been a duck.”  Eric believes giving Poe’s past childhood that he must have some manic behavior himself.(Carbon)

In the literature book “Reading, Fiction, Poetry and Drama” another critic named David S. Reynolds states, ” There is absolutely no excess in ” The Cask of Amontillado”; Every sentence points inexorably to the horrifying climax.”  David also suggests Poe purposely leaves out information in order to leave several questions unanswered.  David states, ” The tale is remarkable for what it leaves out”.  Although the characters are limited due to lack of information, David suggests that they definitely are not flat.  Again. Poe is very graceful with his purpose from sentence to sentence.  He has the characters swiftly come alive before our eyes by describing them with acute psychological realism.   David mentions, ” The drama of the story lies in the carefully orchestrated interaction between the two.(Reynolds)