What is the climax for "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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pirateteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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I had scarcely laid the first tier of the masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off. The earliest indication I had of this was a low moaning cry from the depth of the recess. It was not the cry of a drunken man. There was then a long and 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 hearken to it with the more satisfaction, I ceased my labours and sat down upon the bones. When at last the clanking subsided, I resumed the trowel, and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh tier.

The climax of "The Cask if the Amontilado" comes as Forunato's drunkenness begins to wear off and he realizes what is happening; his "friend" had played on his pride and is sealing him up in the wall.  Montressor tells his audience that he realizes his cries have changed from that of a drunken man to that of a man who is crying out to save his own life.  However, Montressor, proud of his actions, ignores his friends calls for help and, brick by brick, encloses his friend behind the way.

At the end of the story, 50 years have passed since Montressor murdered his friend, and while he wishes he friend to "In pace requiescat!" ("Rest in Peace") he shows no remorse.


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