In his short story “The Cask of Amontillado“, Edgar Allan Poe tells how one of two protagonists takes revenge on the other for some insult, not described by the author. It takes place in medieval Italy, and is told on behalf of the murderer, who immured his offender, Fortunato, alive in the wine cellar of the Montresor’s (avenger’s family) palace. The action takes place in two different locations – in the head of the murderer, where we see sober-blooded thoughts of revenge, and the cellar of his house, filled with barrels of wine, and littered with human bones.
In a dialogue with the victim, who was lured into the cellar on the pretext of tasting wine, they affect the Montresor family’s coat of arms, which shows the foot, pressing a snake – the obvious symbolism of revenge. A motto of the Montresor’s house – Nemo me impune latsessit (“No one attacks me with impunity” in Latin), leaves no doubt that Fortunato was not the first who fell the victim of revenge in this catacomb, which was unambiguously confirmed by the human bones, scattered everywhere around the cellar.
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In his characteristic dark gothic style, the author brilliantly reveals the psychology of the nobility in medieval Italy. Not so many considerations have been taken on the symbolism of Freemasonry in the story. On the way through the catacombs, the victim and the avenger shared…