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What does Montresor admit is his motive for this crime in "The Cask of...

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kfmjones | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 23, 2007 at 10:23 AM via web

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What does Montresor admit is his motive for this crime in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted September 23, 2007 at 10:30 AM (Answer #1)

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The only thing Montresor tells us is that Fortunato insulted him, but we never learn what Fortunato supposedly did. Since Montresor is the narrator, he isn't very reliable, so it's possible that Fortunato did nothing to Montresor. The offense could be in Montresor's mind only. His family motto is no one does anything to a Montresor without the offended Montresor taking revenge. So it's a family tradition in the Montresor family to avenge any and all perceived offenses.

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cmaloney | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 23, 2007 at 10:46 AM (Answer #2)

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Montresor commits the crime against Fortunato because he perceives he has been insulted.  We never find out what the insult is, but it doesn't matter if you subscribe to the idea that "perception is reality".  Whether or not there was an insult, Montresor was insulted.

Revenge is really the motivation.  Montresor has blown the insult issue out of proportion and is determined to seek revenge in order to right the situation and save his honor.  He is obsessed with revenge and has certainly gone to great lengths to exact it.

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