The History of "The Cask of Amontillado"

            The "The Cask of Amontillado" brings us into the mind of a mad man, or is he. The story deals with a horrifying tale of revenge. This is made worse by the fact that the vengeance occurs with no knowledge of the original offense. The way Poe did this sets the mood for true evil. The plot of this story is a simple one. Montresor, the main character and narrator, takes revenge on his friend Fortunato by luring him into the wine cellar under his family's property. From there he brings Fortunato into the catacombs where he buries him alive by chaining him to the wall and then putting a wall up in front of Fortunato. We know that he intended to go unpunished for his act of revenge. Montresor then informs us that he is going to continue to smile in Fortunato's face, while using Fortunato's pride in his knowledge wine to lure him into the catacombs to taste some of his imaginary Amontillado. The conclusion of this story lets us know that Montresor did in fact get away unpunished for his crime. Fifty years has gone by and he now tells his story. .

             In this story the character of Montresor is described through his own words. When he reveals he is going to get revenge on Fortunato for insulting him and that he has been playing Fortunato's friend so he could trick him. You realize that Montresor is a man of intelligence and has thought about this plan for a long time. Poe describes Montresor's ancestors to show how he fits into the family tree. His family motto is "No one attacks me with impunity" and a coat of arms that depicts a snake whose last instinct before death is to poison the foot that crushed it. Montresor fits right in with his family, just as evil as his ancestors were. At no time does Montresor show any remorse about what has done, even as an old man telling the story at the bar. Montresor's hatred toward Fortunato is emphasized when he says, "In pace requiescat”, which means in peace may he rest.

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