Amontillado & mason stuff : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Hi there poe lovers (and anxious student too).

A question about the cask of amontillado: any idea why did poe put this masonery stuff : ?

Montresor leading fortunato on the catacombs is asked if he is a mason brotherhood member, to wich he answer by showing a trowel.

Is this supposed to be some kind of poe humour or may there be another explanation as why is there this scene in the story ?

Is there other poe tales or poetry that talk about this theme ?

-- Anonymous, January 16, 2003


Yes, cruel humor that the murderer-narrator is boasting about to show his cool and his cleverness. Irony of masons being supporters of secret symbols and anti-aristocracy plots. Montresor, a minor noble himself, has his own secret plot and symbol going. Of course he is toying with his "stupid" victim, dehumanizing him while showing off perversely and honestly the instrument of murder. The actual masonic symbol of the trowel(building pyramids of what?)is probably not so important as the general knowledge the average reader would have.

Those seeking clues to Poe's hidden meanings can take comfort in that Poe, impatient at his genius being recognized and not wanting to detract from the central power of the story brags about whatever games he is playing. In real life, people he tweaked were not so lucky.

-- Anonymous, January 16, 2003

Fortunato thinks that the trowel is a symbol of Montresor's brotherhood with Fortunato, not knowing that he will later be killed with it. Also, I read an essay where someone thought, but it could have just been B.S., that Montresor's coat of arms was symbolic. Fortunato was supposed to be the foot and Montresor was the snake rising up from being downtrodden and getting revenge on him.

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2003

I've read that the coat of arms is a symbol used by the catholic faith and the carnival season is a catholic season. The trowel shows Fortunatos masonry. The Cask embodies the Catholic-Mason disposition. Montresor walls Fortunato up with his own wrong "beliefs"

-- Anonymous, October 11, 2004

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