The Perfect Killer
Edgar Allen Poe's brings us a twisted tale of vengeance and horror in "The Cask of Amontillado." Poe's character, Montresor, acts as our guide and narrator through this story. He grabs a hold of the reader as he tells the story from his own apathetic and deceptive mind to gain vengeance from the weak and dismal Fortunato. Montresor's mentality is disturbing as he uses his clever, humor, ironic symbolism, and darkness to accomplish this. At the beginning of the story, Montresor tells us that he has vowed vengeance on Fortunato. Montresor also states "I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done wrong." (Poe 673). This means that not only will he get his vengeance, but Fortunato will know that Montresor is his demise. Poe has not only shown that Montresor is a killer, but a killer with a set of rules that he will follow until Fortunato's death. I believe this is the most important part of the story. It creates an interest, sets the plot, and provides an insight into Montresor's twisted mind. Montresor's reason for murdering Fortunato stems only from insults, and no way is this justification to kill Fortunato. It is reason to note though that Montresor apparently does not like Italians in the first place, "Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity to practise imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and gemmary Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quake-
" (Poe 674). Montresor feels that Fortunato is a fake just like his countrymen. So quiet possibly Montresor's validation for Page 2
killing him is not only from being insulted by Fortunato, but his hate for the Italian upper class as a whole. Another example of this possible blatant hate for Italians is when...
Cited: Poe, Edgar Allan "The Cask of Amontillado"
"The Bedford Introduction to Literature" 7th Ed. Michael Meyer
New York: Bedford/ St. Martin 's, 2005. pgs 673-678
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