Essay on Notes on Edgar Allan Poe

Submitted By beauxstratagem1
Words: 923
Pages: 4

In The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe vividly portrays a devious act of revenge. The narrator, Montresor, is quite upset that his friend, Fortunato, has insulted him numerous times. Montresor is determined to take revenge upon his comrade in a very precise manner, and the audience can only feel appalled by Montresor’s elaborate plan. At first, Montresor’s actions appear legitimate, but upon further detail, Montresor clearly appears to be insane. Montresor does not have a valid reason to murder Fortunato, he deceives and manipulates his friend the entire time, and he ultimately has no sense of guilt about Fortunato’s death. Montresor’s mentally deranged state of mind is inherently obvious throughout this story.
Montresor’s insanity is first evident when he states that he had a “thousand injuries of Fortunato” which he had to bundle inside his heart (Poe 1238). After managing to restrain himself after a “thousand injuries,” Montresor “vow[s] [to take] revenge” (Poe 1238). However, Montresor does not give the reader a clear reason why he has to kill his friend, nor does he attempt to confer with Fortunato in order make amends. Montresor clearly has no interest to share his feelings with Fortunato or repair their relationship. All that Montresor is focused on is making sure his plan to kill Fortunato goes exactly right. Thus, the reader is left to explore Montresor’s true intent to murder his comrade. Montresor describes Fortunato as “a man to be respected and even feared” (Poe 1239). Here, the reader can infer that Montresor is extremely jealous of Fortunato. In addition, when Montresor arrives at the carnival, he notices that his friend has “a tight-fitting parti-striped dress” and a “conical cap and bells” (Poe 1239). It is evident that Fortunato is someone whom everyone wants to be around because he brings fun and excitement to the carnival, dressing as a fool. Thus, jealousy can be the only reason why Montresor wanted to kill Fortunato, but jealousy is never a good reason to kill anyone. Nevertheless, Montresor never admits to being jealous of Fortunato, nor does he give any justifiable reason to kill him. The only option left is for the reader to conclude that Montresor is truly crazy.
In addition to having no legitimate reason to kill Fortunato, Montresor’s insanity can be observed by the way in which he deceives him. Montresor’s plan is so strategically organized that Fortunato does not have the slightest clue as to what is going on. Montresor happily greets his friend as they meet in the carnival, and knowing that Fortunato “pride[s] himself on his connoisseurship in wine,” offers him a drink (Poe 1239). Montresor manipulates Fortunato, knowing that he will never pass on an opportunity to taste some fine Amontillado. Also, Montresor sent his house servants to the carnival “to make merry,” and told them that they “should not return until the morning” (Poe 1240). This clever tactic allows Montresor to kill Fortunato with no witnesses around him. Upon entering the vaults, Fortunato starts coughing excessively because of the debris from the catacombs. Montresor “knock[s] off the neck of [another] bottle” and tells Fortunato to “drink” (Poe 1241). At a superficial glance, the reader may think that he wants to suppress Fortunato’s cough, but in reality, Montresor wants Fortunato to become exceedingly drunk. Deep into the vault, the two men discover a crypt and a recess within the fourth wall. Fortunato, now completely intoxicated, walks into the recess to find the Amontillado. Montresor then immediately chains his comrade to a rock and traps him inside, but Fortunato “[is]