Is the narrator content after killing Fortunato?  "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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After Montesor, who is the narrator of "Cask of Amontillado" walls his his foresworn enemy, he repeats the words of Fortunato with an emphasis toward his justification of his revenge:  "Yes,...for the love of God."  However, when Fortunato does not reply, Montesor grows impatient and shouts his victim's name.  Still, Fortunato does not reply, and Montesor cannot delight in his cruel revenge as he wants:

There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells.  My heart grew sick--on account of the dampness of the catacombs.  I hastened to make an end of my labor.  I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up.

Montesor as narrator then remarks that for fifty years no one has disturbed this grave of Fortunato.  "In pace requiescat!" he states ironically.  However, the irony seems to be spent upon Montesor himself as it is he who is disturbed by the horror of his act.  For, the perpetrator of the horrible deeds in this gothic tale is no supernatural power, but the terrible act of one human being against another.  It is this realization of the real horror lying within himself that disturbs Montesor, that makes him call out to Fortunato, and that keeps him for resting in peace over the murder he has committed. 

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