The Cask of Amontillado is a classic Edgar Allan Poe story about revenge stuffed with irony. There is no real build up to the beginning of the narrator, Montresor’s, revenge. The story actually begins with him stating that he is disgusted and fed up with the actions of Fortunato and that he had dealt with them long enough, (“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge,” Pg. 1612). But what exactly is it that has infuriated Montresor to the point of “punish(ing) (Fortunato) with impunity?”
Montresor was obviously insulted in some way by Fortunato, but how? The first thing that he mentions when he is planning his revenge is Fortunato’s weakness, and that is that, “he prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine.” (1612). Montresor informs us that in everyday life Fortunato is a “quack”, but when it comes to wine he really knows a thing or two. Right after that statement he tells us, “In this respect I did not differ from him materially; I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.” Montresor was also a connoisseur of wine, and maybe even made it himself, so could that have been a subject that triggered some tension towards Fortunato? Could Fortunato have made comments towards a product or possibly endorsement of Montresor’s?
Wine is brought up many times in the narration. When Montresor approaches Fortunato at the party he has already had his fair share of wine and is already drunk. Montresor gets his attention by saying, “I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado,” (1612) and tells the drunkard that he has his doubts about it. Though he has had more than enough wine, Fortunato has to try it and see if it’s real or not. Even when they enter the catacomb and are worried about the damps, the narrator pours Fortunato a glass of wine to protect them, (“A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps." 1614). We are...
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