The Perfect Murder In Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask Of Amontillado

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

Edgar Allan Poe is an American author that can be considered to be the father of the horror genre with his works having some sort of horror aspect to them. “The Cask of Amontillado” is one of Edgar Allan Poe’s works and it is about a man that plans the perfect murder. One question a reader may have is how did nobody find out that Montressor murdered Fortunato? The story is set in an unnamed city in Italy during a festival, and the main characters of the story are Montresor and Fortunato, with the story being told from Montresor’s perspective.

The story starts with the narrator, Montresor, talking about how his acquaintance, Fortunato, talks bad about him. Montresor wants to get his revenge on Fortunato but he also doesn’t want to be at risk of getting in trouble for it. Montresor speaks about acting friendly with Fortunato so that he does not have suspicion against Montresor. It is revealed that Fortunato has a weakness, his love for wine, and Montresor’s plans on using it against him. One of the evenings of the carnival season, Montresor approached Fortunato and he was drunk. Fortunato was described to be wearing “a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells”. When Montresor approaches Fortunato, he greets him with kindness and the start of his plan begins.

Montresor tells Fortunato that he has acquired a wine that could be Amontillado and Fortunato is doubtful of it. Montresor tells Fortunato that he is going to go to a person named Luchesi to find out about and Fortunato seizes the opportunity to taste could be Amontillado and offers to go for him. They both go to the residence of Montresor towards the catacombs. No servants are present at the property and it is just Montresor and Fortunato by themselves. The two walk through the catacombs and Fortunato starts coughing due to Nitre but the two continue going further and further underground and Montresor starts offering Fortunato a drink.

The Fortunato asks Montresor about being a mason and to prove to Fortunato that he is one, Montresor shows Fortunato a trowel that he is carrying on him. They finally reach the point where the Amontillado is and Montresor chains up Fortunato and begins to build up a wall with the trowel he had shown earlier and building stones, slowly burying Fortunato alive. As Montressor finishes up Fortunato starts talking to Montresor saying “Ha! ha! ha! –he! he! he! –a very good joke, indeed –an excellent jest. We will have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo –he! he! he! –over our wine –he! he! he!”, hoping that it was some sort of sick joke but Montresor finished the wall and it was left untouched for half a century.

“The Cask of Amontillado” shows how Montresor committed the perfect crime throughout the story in several ways. Montresor acted friendly to Fortunato allowing Fortunato to trust him and for there to be no suspicion for Montresor to be Fortunato’s murderer. The story takes place in the middle of a festival where many people are intoxicated and wearing costumes, allowing the two to leave without anybody knowing where they went. Montresor lures in Fortunato using reverse psychology by acting like he was going to go to somebody else so Fortunato would volunteer to go in place of the other person. There were no servants on the Montresor residence because Montressor told them to stay there the whole night and that he would not be returning and Montresor knew that would make them leave, which made the be no witnesses and he would have an alibi because his servants would lie saying he did not come home because they were supposed to be there but they weren’t so they would lie to cover for themselves. Montresor weakens Fortunato by having them walk through the catacombs and Fortunato becomes weakened by a cough from the nitre and he also gets drunk from a wine that he is offered, leaving Montresor’s victim unable to defend himself. When Montresor begins to bury Fortunato alive and Fortunato begins to scream, the screams are no use because they are so deep underground that nobody can hear him scream, which also allows no witnesses. Nobody would disturb a family’s catacomb so nobody would look behind the newly built wall that Fortunato’s body is behind allowing there to be no corpse to be found.

Edgar Allan Poe uses foreshadowing in “The Cask of Amontillado” when Fortunato states “ I shall not die of a cough” and when Montresor replies with “True –true” because Montresor knows he will not die of a cough but he will die of starvation and thirst first. The story implies that Montresor is a stonemason, meaning that he can build things using stone, such as Fortunato’s new grave. The story also shows how Fortunato enters a state where he could be considered to have lost his mind from despair, Fortunato had gone from crying and yelling to laughing and joking moments later showing that he has broken because he knew he would die. The story also uses irony, Fortunato’s name means fortunate, and he wasn’t very fortunate to have been buried alive. The two walking down further and further underground could symbolize that they are going to a point of no return. “The Cask of Amontillado”, is another one of Edgar Allan Poe’s work telling a horror story, with this one being a story of revenge and the perfect crime.


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