Why does Montresor Want Revenge? Deceit in ‘The Cask of Amontillado’

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Unmasking Vengeance: The Deep-Seated Resentment in ‘The Cask of Amontillado’

“The Cask of Amontillado” is one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous short stories. It is a powerful story of gothic terror that is all about revenge, deceit, and murder. The story is told by a first-person narrator named Montresor and is presented as a confession to the crime before a clergyman. The story’s main characters are Montresor and Fortunato, who used to be good friends; however, Fortunato has repeatedly hurt Montresor.

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Now Fortunato has insulted Montresor and has pushed him to a breaking point. Poe reveals in the story that Montresor felt that he was a victim of a “thousand injuries” and one unnamed “insult” he must avenge. In Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” the author focuses on a man who takes fatal revenge on his friend whom he believes wronged him and vows vengeance.

Why Does Montresor Want Revenge? The Carnival Deception and Fortunato’s Fatal Flaw

As the story begins, Montresor explains his thoughts regarding revenge. “I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself as such to him who has done the wrong.” (Poe 328).

Most of the events occur on the night of Carnival, which is a celebration of excessive food, drinks, and fun that occurs before Lent. Montresor has hidden his rage from Fortunato in order to convince him that they are still good friends. This was part of his master plan. “He had a weak point-this, Fortunato- although in other regards, he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine” (Poe 329). Montresor isn’t surprised when he finds that Fortunato is already drunk when he runs into him at the Carnival.

Montresor’s Calculated Trap: Intoxication, Deception, and the Descent into the Catacombs

Montresor felt that it would be easier to manipulate Fortunato when he was intoxicated. Montresor began to tell Fortunato a fictional story about buying a Cask of Amontillado but wasn’t sure if it was genuine. Montresor used his mind strategy to try to get Fortunato to follow him to his home by continuously stating that he could ask Luchresi to taste the Amontillado. To make it easier for murder, “There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honor of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house” (Poe 330). Montresor guided Fortunato throughout the vaults, deep enough to reach the catacombs of the Montessori.

It was Montresor’s plan to keep Fortunato intoxicated; therefore, he gave Fortunato some Medoc to relieve his cough as they proceeded to the catacombs. By the time they arrive at the niche where the Amontillado is supposedly stored, Fortunato is too drunk to notice that there is no wine. He didn’t even resist when Montresor began to chain him and build a wall over the niche while he began to sober up. “I had scarcely laid the first tier of the masonry when I discovered that the intoxication I had of this was a low moaning cry from the depth of the recess. It was not the cry of a drunken man” (Poe 333).

Works Cited

  1. Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of Amontillado.” Selected Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by James M. Hutchisson, Modern Library, 2000, pp. 328-333.
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Why Does Montresor Want Revenge? Deceit in 'The Cask of Amontillado'. (2023, Aug 16). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/why-does-montresor-want-revenge-deceit-in-the-cask-of-amontillado/