The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
TheCask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
Montressor describes Fortunato’s strengths and weaknesses through contrasting them. Montressor points out that one of the strengths of Fortunato is also the source of his greatest weakness. Fortunato loves wine and is a good connoisseur of wine. However, this love also exposes his weaknesses. He is liable to easy traps when inebriated and his desire for wine makes him lack the ability to consider that he has passed his limit. Montressor uses this weakness to lure Fortunato to his death.
Montressor keeps urging Fortunato to turn back because he knows that Fortunato will not pass the opportunity of tasting the coveted wine. Fortunato has a reputation to preserve as one of the most revered wine critics in the area and is not ready for another wine critic to bypass him. Urging Fortunato to go back is a trick applied by Montressor to ensure that Fortunato can feel belittled because of his drunkenness and will seek to prove his prominence in tasting wine.
Montressor hates Fortunato on the basis that he has been insulting Montressor. The story insinuates that Montressor comes from a prominent family and that Fortunato’s family has been rivals with Montressor’s family. However, the rivalry is covert and it only manifests itself in minor incidences where Fortunato would insult Montressor. Montressor is keen to protect the name of his family and he feels justified to punish Fortunato for the insults directed towards his family. According to Montressor, punishment by death is the only means through which he can preserve the dignity of his family.
All societies since millennial have instituted mechanisms that have objective standards of determining guilt. These standards are applicable in all aspects of justice including administering punishment. However, when an individual decides to act as a vigilante who is has the power of judging and administering punishment, then they act as precursors to other vigilante fostering the growth of violence in the society. The society should apply due to process when administering justice. This will ensure protection for members of the society from unjust treatment in cases where they could be innocent.
The statement that seals Fortunato’s fate is, “I must not only punish but punish with impunity.” This statement shows that Montressor is keen to make sure that he avenges the insults that Fortunato directs towards him. In this respect, Montressor is determined to avenge the results and is ready to commit murder and evade accountability for his action.
One of the events that contribute to the rise of the action in the story is when Montressor tricks his servants to leave the house. This is an indicator that he is willing to commit murder without the knowledge of other people. The other event is when Montressor meets Fortunato and tricks him that he has a cask of amontillado. These events contribute to the action that will eventually lead to the death of Fortunato. These events link to the action because they portray how Montressor’s plan has been ongoing for some time.
The event that marks the climax of the story is when Montressor tricks Fortunato to go his cellars. From that moment, it is apparent to the reader that Fortunato is at the mercy of Montressor. Using previous statements and events, it is evident that Fortunato’s murder will occur in those cellars.
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