The Cask of Amontillado

The narrator begins by telling us that Fortunato has hurt him, and Fortunato has insulted him - The Cask of Amontillado introduction. The narrator decides to revenge to him. He meets Fortunato, and he is already very drunk. The narrator mentions he’s found a barrel of a rare brandy called Amontillado. Fortunato doubt that the wine is real and he want to check. So he and the narrator go to the catacomb. The narrator leads Fortunato deeper and deeper into the catacomb, getting him drunker and drunker along the way. Fortunato keeps coughing, and the narrator constantly suggests that Fortunato is too sick to go further, and should go back. However, Fortunato just keeps talking about the Amontillado. Eventually, Fortunato walks into a man-sized hole that’s part of the wall of a really nasty crypt. The narrator chains Fortunato to the wall, then begins to close Fortunato in the hole by filling in the opening with bricks. When he has one brick left, he psychologically tortures Fortunato until he begs for mercy. After Fortunato cries out Montresor’s name, he doesn’t have any more lines. But just before Montresor puts in the last brick, Fortunato jingles his bells. Then Montresor finishes the job and leaves him there to die. At the very end, Montresor tells us that the whole affair happened fifty years ago, and nobody has found out.

Poe writes this story from the perspective of Montresor who vows revenge against Fortunato. This is the first-person narration style of story. As the author use first-person narration, the audience can more clearly see how he thinks and feels. The reason the narration style is so important to the tone of the story, is because it lets the reader become personally acquainted with the thoughts and intentions of the main character. And I think that his family motto, ‘Nemo me impune lacessit (No one wounds me with impunity)’, is playing very important role in this tale. I believe that Montresor try to rationalize his murder with his family motto, so that he does not have to feel guilty about murdering Fortunato.

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