Cask Of Amontillado
Some people wonder is Montressor was insane in the short story of “The Cask of
Amontillado.” Well to me, he was. I say this because would a sane man want
revenge on a person? Would a sane man want to kill someone in such a slow and
painful way? That is the idea that is going to be discussed in this essay. “I
must not only punish but punish with impunity (p. 149) That line in itself just
says that he is not a normal thinking human being. This is when he starts to
make out his plan of retribution. During this time, Montressor was careful not
to arouse Fortunato’s suspicions. “…Neither by word or by deed had I given
Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued…to smile in his face, and
he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation (p.
149). Fortunato had a weakness, which Montressor thought could be good for his
implementing his plan. Fortunato prided himself upon being a connoisseur of fine
wines. In this respect, they were both equals. So therefore, he knew that he
would catch on to the bait and fall into the trap. Montressor knew that
Fortunato had been drinking and this was even more of a good thing for him. He
had shown his gratitude for finding Fortunato because he had just purchased a
large cask of what he thinks in Amontillado, which is a dry sherry. Montressor
had his doubts about its authenticity and so didn’t Fortunato.
“Amontillado…Impossible! And in the middle of a carnival!” (p. 149).
Montressor then told him that he also had his doubts, that he had already paid
full price and that he was sorry for not consulting with him first. He then
tells Fortunato that he was on the way to Luchesi’s because he wanted to know
its authenticity. That was just a piece of the bait to make Fortunato come into
the trap. Fortunato was also placing himself in the trap by suggesting that they
go to their vaults to taste the Amontillado. Montressor plays like he doesn’t
know what he is about to do. Most insane people do that. He claims that he and
Fortunato shouldn’t go because Fortunato has a serious cold. He insisted that
he stay behind because the dampness and the niter wouldn’t be good for his
cough. Fortunato once again, took the bait and the plan was put into action.
When they had arrived, there was no one there. All the servants were gone
according to plan. Montressor kept insisting that they go back because of the
niter and of Fortunato’s cough. “We will go back; your health is precious.
You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. For me
it is no matter. WE will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible.
Besides, there is Luchesi—” (p.150). But once again, He wanted to taste the
Amontillado and he was putting himself closer and closer to his own death. They
both kept walking and Montressor kept saying that they should go back. And
Fortunato kept creeping closer to his death. The soon reached the room where the
Amontillado was kept. “At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared
another less spacious. Its walls had been lined with human remains…Three sides
of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner” (p. 152). The
bones had been removed from the fourth wall and were scattered around the crypt.
By doing this, there was an empty crypt “…in depth about four feet, in
width three, in height six or seven….” which had been created (p. 152).
Fortunato was intoxicated at this point from all the drinks that Montressor had
offered before. He then told Fortunato to enter where he then in a moment,
changed him up to the granite. “In its surface were two iron staples, distant
from each other about two feet, horizontally. From one of these depended a short
chain, from another a padlock. Throwing the links around about his waist, it was
but the work of a few seconds to secure it” (p. 152). Fortunato was taken by
surprise but too intoxicated to resist. “The Amontillado!” Fortunato called
out. “True,” Montressor replied, “the Amontillado” (p. 152), As those
words were spoken, Montressor was carrying out the last things of his plan.
Under the pile of bones were some building stones and mortar. With these and his
trowel, he started closing up the entrance to the crypt. During this time,
Fortunato’s intoxication started wearing off and he started to hear sloe moans
coming from inside. “There was a long obstinate silence. I laid the second
tier and the third, and the fourth; and then I heard the furious vibrations of
the chain. The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I might have
hearken to it with more satisfaction” (p. 152). Now how could a sane person
keep working while listening to the moaning and the movement of the chains? How
could a sane person get a feeling of satisfaction from that? That is one of the
things that make Montressor insane before he commits the act of inhuman murder.
Just as the wall was about chest level, Montressor peeks in and then hears the”loud and shrill screams…” that came from Fortunato. For a short time,
Montressor was frightened and he trembled, but he realized that no one could
hear him so he started re-echoing him. Then it grew quiet again. As the task was
almost complete, a low laugh could be heard from the interior of the niche. It
was accompanied by a somewhat sad voice. “Ha! ha! ha! –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!” (p. 153). Montressor
responded and echoed Fortunato’s laughter. Fortunato then reminded Montressor
that it was getting late, and that people would start looking for them.
“Let us be gone,” Fortunato said. “Yes, ” Montressor said,
“let us be gone.” Fortunato cried out, “For the love of God,
Montressor!” And he replied, “Yes. For the love of God!” (p.
152). Then there was a silence. Montressor then called out for Fortunato, but
there was no reply. He then again looked inside and he let the torch fall.
“There came forth in return only a jingling of bells. Y heart grew sick; it
was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so…I forced the last stone into
place…I re-ereceted the old rampart bones. For the half of a century no mortal
had disturberd them…” (p. 153). That last paragraph just shows that at the
very end, he felt a little guilt, but he was too rapped up in what it was done
for, that he found something else to blame for him feeling that way. This whole
essay explains that he was insane. It shows you the steps and the actions that
this man had done just to get revenge. No sane man would plot this out so well
that no mortal hasn’t touched the “grave” site for a half of century.