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What is the plot summary of "The Cask of Amontillado?" 

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Bobthebob | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM via web

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What is the plot summary of "The Cask of Amontillado?" 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 19, 2013 at 9:36 PM (Answer #1)

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Montresor is the narrator. He begins his tale with a brief and vague exposition about how Fortunato has hurt and/or offended him in many ways. Then, still vague, Montresor indicates that Fortunato's recent insult was the last straw. Montresor never goes into detail about these "thousand injuries" nor the circumstances of this most recent insult. Montresor simply claims that he intends to have revenge. "I must not only punish, but punish with impunity." 

Montresor knows Fortunato has a weakness which is his pride in being a connoisseur of wines. He tells Fortunato that he has an Amontillado but is unsure whether it is genuine or not. Montresor adds that he is going to his friend Luchesi so that he might confirm the Amontillado. Fortunato, in his pride, says Luchesi "cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry." So, as part of his strategy, Montresor agrees to let Fortunato be his taste tester. Montresor effectively lures Fortunato into his vaults and down into the catacombs. Fortunato begins to cough, Montresor implores that they turn back, but this just makes Fortunato more determined to reach the Amontillado. 

Montresor continues to lead on, giving Fortunato alcohol to drink on the way. By the time they reach the Amontillado, Montresor chains him to the rocks and barricades him in. After he ceases to hear Fortnato's cries, Montresor adds: 

My heart grew sick—on account of the dampness of the catacombs. 

It seems that Montresor feels no remorse and being so vague about his motives, the reader wonders about his mental state. On the other hand, Montresor does end the story with a "rest in peace" sentiment. And the fact that he is confessing this deed fifty years after it happened might indicate guilt, remorse, and/or contrition. 

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