Character Analysis: Montresor “The Cask of Amontillado”
Edgar Allen Poe’s “The cask of Amontillado” is a sinister tale of revenge narrated by a character named Montresor. The setting takes place in an underground tomb in Italy during carnival season. In this story, Montresor too plays the role of main character. I chose to analyze him because his character traits are ones that I can relate to. In addition to the character traits being identifiable, these character traits also play a big role throughout the story. Montresor’s vengefulness, cleverness, and confidence assist him in the murder of his friend. The first thing I realized about Montresor was his vengefulness, or his desire to harm. At the opening we read that Montresor has vowed revenge against Fortunato. The story opens with “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge” (Poe, 1). It is there we see the animosity Montresor had toward Fortunato. In the beginning Montressor also said “I must not only punish but punish with impunity” (Poe, 1). That too revealed the resentment he had towards his friend.
In addition to vengefulness, Montresor was also a clever person. By the third paragraph it is evident that Montresor formulated a plan to carry out against Fortunato. Montresor stated “I continued, as was my intent to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation” (Poe, 1). The narrator then went into detail about Fortunato’s weak points. “He had weak points, this Fortunato” (Poe, 1). Montresor knew that Fortunato was an expert on wine. “He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine” (Poe, 1). Montresor also knew that Fortunato was not skilled in painting or gems. He proved that when he said “In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere” (Poe, 1). This displayed Montresor’s high mental alertness....
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