Edgar Allan Poe, the cask of amontillado full text pdf published in the November 1846 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. Fortunato and Montresor drink in the catacombs.
Angry over numerous injuries and some unspecified insult, Montresor plots to murder his “friend” during Carnival, while the man is drunk, dizzy, and wearing a jester’s motley. At one point, Fortunato makes an elaborate, grotesque gesture with an upraised wine bottle. When Montresor appears not to recognize the gesture, Fortunato asks, “You are not of the masons? Montresor says he is, and when Fortunato, disbelieving, requests a sign, Montresor displays a trowel he had been hiding. Montresor reveals brick and mortar, previously hidden among the bones nearby, and proceeds to wall up the niche using his trowel, entombing his friend alive. At first, Fortunato, who sobers up faster than Montresor anticipated, shakes the chains, trying to escape. Fortunato then screams for help, but Montresor mocks his cries, knowing nobody can hear them.
In the last few sentences, Montresor reveals that 50 years later, Fortunato’s body still hangs from its chains in the niche where he left it. The murderer concludes: In pace requiescat! The Cask of Amontillado” was first published in the November 1846 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book, which was, at the time, the most popular periodical in America. The story was only published one additional time during Poe’s life.
Montresor’s crime and the criminal himself explains how he committed the murder. Montresor never specifies his motive beyond the vague “thousand injuries” and “when he ventured upon insult” to which he refers. Fortunato’s belittling remarks about Montresor’s exclusion from Freemasonry. There is also evidence that Montresor is almost as clueless about his motive for revenge as his victim. In his recounting of the murder, Montresor notes, “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”.
Additional scrutiny into the vague injuries and insults may have to do with a simple matter of Montresor’s pride and not any specific words from Fortunato. Montresor comes from an established family. His house had once been noble and respected, but has fallen slightly in status. There is indication that Montresor blames his unhappiness and loss of respect and dignity within society on Fortunato. It is easy to ascertain that Fortunato is a Freemason, while Montresor is not, which could be the source of Fortunato’s recent ascension into upper class society. Upon further investigation into the true nature of character, double meaning can be derived from the Montresor crest.