Edgar Allan Poe was best known for his mystical short stories. One of his works, “The cask of Amontillado“, is about a retaliatory murder. One of the main characters but also the narrator, Montresor, murders the other main character, Fortunato. He accomplishes this through a mischievous murder scheme While doing this, Montresor justifies his murder by hinting and playing mind games with his victim of their death. The story starts by Montresor stating that Fortunato has insulted him and his family thousands of times and it’s time to seek revenge, therefore being the motive of this murder. Montresor establishes a plan to accomplish his revenge He starts by ordering his attendants to enjoy the carnival season night and that he won’t be back till morning knowing that all will disappear when he walks away. By do this, the only two in the palazzo that night would be himself and Fortunato.
Next he used his enemy’s weakness. Fortunato “prides himself on his connoisseurship in wine,“ according to the narrator. Meaning that he is proud in his expertise in wine. Montresor, therefore, asks Fortunato for his expertise on a bottle of Amontillado. Montresor lures his enemy into his palazzo eventually leading to the catacombs of the Montresors while his enemy wore motley. The narrator depicts Fonunato’s apparel to represent Montresor’s perspective of Fortunato. Motley in historical terms is ajester costume. The jester costume symbolizes a fool, Therefore, Fortunato is characterized as a fool. Walking towards the catacombs, Montresor turns around and tells Fortunato to take caution as he follows. As if he was hinting to Fortunato to be alert, Fortunate ends up coughing and Montresor takes notice and says to turn around due to Fortunato’s precious health and that Fortunato‘s friend.
Luchresi, can come instead. Montresor’s action assures Fortunato that Montresor is “not” going to kill him since he is worried about his health and that he would replace Fortunato with a friend, meaning that Fortunato is not the target, evening though he is. Montresor is playing reverse psychology with Fortunato and it works. Fortunato says a cough won’t kill him and to continue the journey. Montresor‘s response is “true” that a cough won’t kill him since Montresor is the one planning to kill him. But then again, Montresor warns Fortunato ”…to use all proper caution.” They start drinking wine and toast to the family of Montresor. As if it‘s a night of reward to the Montresors. They continue to walk through the hallways full of the dead. Montresor insists they turn around due to the time and Fortunato’s cough but they proceed. They ended up at a niche in the wall.
There Montresor told Fortunato the Amontillado was. Believing that, Fortunato stepped forward to find it but end up being placed into chains by Montresor. Montresor ends up constructing a wall of stone to bury Fortunato alive. During the process. Fortunato tries to escape from the chains therefore making a clinking noise. Montresor upon hearing this helpless noise, he stops working and just sits down. He wants to relax and enjoy the suffering of his enemy. He continues and finishes his work when the noise of movement and frustration stops. Once he is close to finishing the wall he had second thoughts of his action but then proceeds to place his hands on the wall of the catacombs. He feels reassured and satisfied of what he has done. When he touched the walls of the catacombs he felt the pain of his family that was caused by his enemy.
He completed his task and Fortunato is trapped and now waiting to stan/e, dehydrate, and eventually die. After all, the victim’s name is fortunato, meaning the fortunate one Poe’s irony is wonderful here because the victim is not really fortunate due to him being set up for death‘ Poe’s choice of costume for the victim is also wonderful due to the meaning behind it The foreshadowing Poe used is how Montresor justifies and hints at his victim several times of his death. The psychological mind games that were played to insure his victim‘s willingness to journey towards his death just added to this murder plot. All these elements accumulate to Montresor‘s mischievous murder scheme.