The Theme of Revenge in The Cask of Amontillado and the Count of Monte Cristo

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“The Cask of Amontillado” and The Count of Monte Cristo both have various ways to show how the theme of revenge is betrayed in the text. In the short story “The Cask of Amontillado”, Poe starts off by showing us how our protagonist, Montressor acts post betrayal. In the book The Count of Monte Cristo, we are shown how our protagonist, Edmond Dantes acts pre and post betrayal. Theme “the insight into what it is to be human” is revealed as revenge in both texts. Both texts show how their “characterization influenced the theme of revenge” The theme of revenge is shown to us by their own characterization, the people around them, and what leads them up to their own actions.

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In the short story “The Cask of Amontillado” we are shown that our protagonist Montressor is being betrayed by Fortunado yet we do not know what exactly Fortunado has done in order for Montressor to feel betrayed. “The thousand injuries of Fortunado I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” (Poe 172) This implies that when Fortunado insulted Montressor, he pushed it too far which drove him to get revenge. We are not shown how Montressor acted before the betrayal yet we do know that when Montressor is talking to Fortunado he states “You are rich, respected, admired, beloved, you are happy, as once i was” (Poe 173) which implies before he was betrayed Montressor wasn’t just a cold hearted and vengeful person but Montesor was very warm hearted and a sensitive person. Montressor was pushed too far which caused him to get revenge and wall up Fortunado alive.

However in the book The Count of Monte Cristo we are shown when Edmond gets betrayed by his own “best friend” Fernand and is put into jail called the Chateau D’if, it gives us a way to see how his characterization changes before he was put in jail and after he escapes. In the film that we were shown of The Count of Monte Cristo we see how before Edmond was arrested, he was very worried, naive, and gullible. The way he acted before he was put in jail let people really take advantage of him which really caused him to be clueless of what was going on around him. However, this all changes when he gets educated by Abbé Faria who teaches Edmond everything he knows. When Edmond escapes he meets Luigi Vampa known as a smuggler and a thief. Luigi challenges Edmond to fight Jacapo to the death but when fighting but Edmond doesn’t actually kill him because everyone got what they wanted which was a show. Jacapo ends up giving Edmond his life oath. Edmond and Jacapo find the treasure of Monte Cristo and when Jacapo ask Edmond what he wants to buy, he states he wants to buy “revenge”. Edmond and Jacapo for about 16 years, have been studying Fernand and Mercedes his old fiance who ended up marrying Fernand 1 month after he was arrested. Edmond comes up with a plan and stages a fight of the capturing of Fernands son Albert which causes Edmond to meet his parents. When Edmond meets his parents, Mercedes recognizes something about him and says he seems familiar like her old love Edmond, but he is introduced as the Count of Monte Cristo, so how could it be him ? Fernand ends up being arrested for bankruptcy which he then tells Mercedes but she refuses to move with him. Fernand looks for the money that he planned to steal but ends up seeing the Count of Monte Cristo who is then revealed as Edmond which causes them to sword fight to the death. Edmond defeats Fernand who then moves on to live with Mercedes and Albert.

In the short story “The Cask of Amontillado” Montressors characterization changes which drives the theme of revenge when he states that he was once happy which we can imply that he was a giving and trusting person which when he got betrayed he turned very cautious and malicious. With his characterization change, we could imply that whatever Fortunado did to betray Montressor, it caused him to get revenge and wall up Fortunado. In the book The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond is first portrayed as a very gullible person which he then changes to a very confident person which allows him to come up with a very intelligent plan for more than 16 years to study Fernands and Mercedes every move.

In both texts we can see how the people around them can change their characterization which causes them to do things we wouldn’t expect. Both text not only show how peoples characterization can change the theme of the story, but their characterization changes them as a person. Revenge is something everyone wants at one point but peoples characterization can either influence them to get revenge or not. The short story “The Cask of Amontillado” and the book The Count of Monte Cristo both show us how both Montressor and Edmonds characterization influences the theme of revenge

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