What does Monstresor say at the end of the story that suggests he had second thoughts about what he did to Fortunato?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the full last paragraph of the story Montresor calls, "Fortunato!" but receives no answer. He says, "I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick--on account of the dampness of the catacombs." The break in that last quoted sentence suggests that his heart grew sick because he had at least a momentary regret for what he had done but that he quickly reminds himself of his hatred and desire for revenge and explains away his heart-sickness by blaming it on the dampness and gloom of the catacombs. Then he ends his tale with the Latin words "In pace requiescat!" meaning "Rest in peace!" Evidently he means this sincerely. Now that he has cleansed himself of his hatred by destroying his enemy, he is free to feel pity for him, but he must realize that there was no way he could have released Fortunato after chaining him to the rock wall. Fortunato would never have forgiven him. He undoubtedly would have planned his own revenge against Montresor, even going as far as having him murdered.


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