Character Analysis Of Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado

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“The Cask of Amontillado” is a poetic tale of an exemplary murder told by Edgar Allan Poe. As a vicious, murderous man, Montresor may be considered to be an unsympathetic character. However, after a close examination of Montresor’s characteristics and personality, it may be concluded that there are many traits that may be reflected on readers, traits which reside along with more uncommon characteristics. The man who Montresor murders, Fortunato, experiences the wrath of these characteristics first hand, and would be the first to call Montresor either evil or insane. But careful scrutiny of Montresor will result in the discovery that Montresor is not simply black or white, evil or insane, but a spectrum of grey and diverse characteristics that …show more content…
Poe writes the reasoning for Montresor’s action in the first line of the story, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I have borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge” (15). This demonstrates Montresor’s pridefulness, as it enables him to forgive injuries, but not insult. As a prideful man, Montresor may be more sensitive to insult, and in consequence, may be drawn to violence and revenge much sooner. Another trait that may have established the circumstances for Montresor to commit such a violent and revengeful act is his insecurity. Insecurity, along with his pridefulness, causes Montresor to overreact to Fortunato’s insults and remarks directed towards him, who is also clearly a vengeful man. This is demonstrated when he remarked “At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled by the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity” (14). The cause of Montresor’s action can largely be attributed to these three characteristics, pridefulness, insecurity, and …show more content…
Firstly, Montresor is an extremely intelligent man, which is demonstrated in many aspects of the murder. For example, Montresor carefully planned the murder to accommodate for several aspects, such as using the time of the festival to account for several points which without would have raised suspicion. The cloak that many from the festival wore, for example, gave him anonymity, while also gave his servants a reason to sneak out and caused Fortunato to be inebriated which made it easier to convince him to follow to the catacombs. Montresor also uses manipulation to his benefit, which convinced his servants to leave his home when he told them not to, and to convince Fortunato that it was his idea to forge ahead in the catacombs, rather than Montresor’s. Montresor is also extremely creative and clever since his tactics required knowledge of his victim, and the ability to use Fortunato’s traits against himself. For example, the line, “He had a weak point - this Fortunato - although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine” clearly demonstrates Montresor’s ability to identify Fortunato 's weak spot, and use it against him, since it was Fortunato’s love of wine that convinced him to follow Montresor into the catacombs in the first place. The

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