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Cask of Amontialldo – Character Traits Essay

The character of Montresor in, “The Cask of Amontillado” is one who can only be defined with words along the lines of evil, or wicked. He vows to avenge the bold and childish Fortunato, whom Montresor swears did him wrong. Montresor could be described with many bold words, one being guilty. Though he is guilty, he is determined not to get caught. For instance, Montresor declares, “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity” (Poe, 1). Essentially, he is saying he will seek revenge on Fortunato, but he will get away with the vicious crime. Another obvious character trait for the devious Montresor, is dishonest.

He claims to have obtained a cask of Amontillado, when the reader can tell through situational irony this is not true. He claims, “… I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, but I have my doubts” (Poe 1). Fortunato unknowingly follows the fiend, and in theory, seals his own fate. Montresor is also quite sneaky. He slyly gets Fortunato into a small inlet in his wine cellar– also a home for skeletal remains. He hastily chains him up before the poor Fortunato can even realize what’s happening.

Explaining the situation, Montresor says, “… inding his progress arrested by the rock, stood stupidly bewildered… a moment more and i fettered him to the granite” (Poe 4). Lastly, Montresor is just plain mysterious. Readers never know exactly why he decided to go after Fortunato, but it is hinted he offended the killer in some way. When asked about his coat of arms, Montresor blatantly states, “A human foot… the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel” (Poe 3). The motto underneath is “nemo me impune lacessit” (Poe 3). To conclude, Montresor plays not only a degrading character, but one of many evils.


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