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What is the initial incident in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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kittcatt | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 17, 2010 at 10:57 AM via web

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What is the initial incident in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 17, 2010 at 11:04 AM (Answer #1)

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In my opinion, the initial incident in this story is not really even seen in the story.  To me, the initial incident is whatever Fortunato did in the past to Montresor.

The initial incident is the thing that leads to the rising action in the story.  To me, the rising action in this story is the interaction between Montresor and Fortunato as Montresor maneuvers Fortunato into going down into Montresor's wine cellars.

So the initial incident has to be whatever caused this to happen.  In my opinion, that is the conflict between them that is only referred to in this story.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 17, 2010 at 11:20 AM (Answer #2)

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I agree with the previous post that the initial incident in the short story, "The Cask of Amontillado," is the offense that Fortunato commited against Montressor. Unfortunately, Montressor never reveals what Fortunato has done to him to cause the vengeful incidents that follow. We only know what the first lines of the story tell us.

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.

It appears that Montressor was unhappy with Fortunato's longtime treatment of him ("The thousand injuries"), but the last straw was the unnamed insult.

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