“The Cask of Amontillado,” by Edgar Allen Poe features a prideful man who becomes instantly obsessed with revenge. Montresor, who is also the narrator, is bitter because he feels he has been betrayed by Fortunato. As a result, he orchestrates a brilliant plan to make Fortunato answer for his apparent grave mistake. The theme of the story is that one man’s pride and obsession can drive him to make decisions with very treacherous outcomes. The story is developed using aspects of setting and characters.
The major characters in “The Cask of Amontillado” are Montresor and Fortunato. The minor characters in the story include Luchresi and Fortunato’s wife. The characters play a major role in role in guiding readers through the notion of Montresor’s revenge on Fortunato. Montresor, one of the major characters in the story is developed as a very round character in this story. The reader could view Montresor as someone who is a very prideful man and is passionate about his heritage. This instance is recognized immediately in the very first sentence. “THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.” said (Poe 1846). What follows is a description of what the narrator, Montresor, considers essential elements of a successful revenge (Delaney 33). “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 the wrong.” (Poe 1846). The reader might distinguish from the comments mentioned above, that Montresor may be someone who is not to take disrespect lightly as he views respect in the highest of regard.
Poe includes how Montresor mentions that the Montresors were a great and numerous family, when he responded to Fortunato’s comment about extensiveness of the vaults. The significance of the Montresor heritage is felt to a greater extent due to the resulting end of the story. “Montresor says: ‘Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.” (Delaney 33). Delaney stated that with Poe’s choice of using the word disturbed instead of discovered implied that the significance of the meaning was unlike the norm. Bill Delaney believes, “The word disturbed suggests that Montresor thinks of himself as having been the conscientious custodian of his former enemy's remains. This is further suggested by the fact that Montresor has entombed Fortunato among the bones of his own ancestors, of whom he is so proud. Fortunato has become, in a sense, a member of the family.” (33).
Bill Delaney says, “Poe begins by describing, in characteristically precise and logical detail, Montresor's (and Poe's) idea of perfect revenge. At the same time, he needed to end his story by telling how his revenge had affected him.” (33). “When Fortunato says, "For the love of god, Montresor!" and Montresor...