The Cask of Amontillado
by Edgar Allan Poe
The Cask of Amontillado Drugs and Alcohol Quotes
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I broke and reached him a flagon of De Grâve. He emptied it at a breath. His eyes flashed with a fierce light. (56)
This is a pretty obvious pun. We don’t really need foreshadowing at this point to let us know that wine, in so many ways, is leading Fortunato to his “grave.” Nor do we need to be reminded that things are getting “grave,” as in “serious.” Ironically, this “grave” pun actually lightens the mood, at least a little.
He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication. (29)
Distill means to “purify,” “condense” or “refine something.” “Rheum” has to do with mucous (and Fortunato’s cough). Montresor believes that Fortunato’s illness and his intoxication are connected. He also suggests that Fortunato’s eyes are somehow making him both drunker and even more ill.
“The Amontillado!” I said.
“He! he! he!–he! he! he!–yes, the Amontillado. But is it not getting late?” (81, 82)
Now Montresor is letting the truth be known. Fortunato isn’t seeing any Amontillado. Not tonight, not ever. And finally, Amontillado doesn’t sound nearly as interesting as fresh air.