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Why does Montresor end his story with the latin phrase meaning "May he rest in...

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jazzaria | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 31, 2009 at 8:56 AM via web

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Why does Montresor end his story with the latin phrase meaning "May he rest in peace"?

"The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 31, 2009 at 10:00 AM (Answer #1)

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Montresor concludes with "In pace requiescat" in order to put the "period," so to speak, at the end of his tale of revenge. His is the wine connosieur's vendetta:

At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled--but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk.  I must not only punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser.  It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

This last line underscores the intentions of Montesor to avenge himself against Fortunato.  Cleverly, Montresor plans out his revenge step by step until its fruition.  In fact, he enjoys himself in his revenge, delighting in the details of placing the flambeaux in certain positions to create shadows, etc.  He toys with Fortunato's ego, telling him, "We Will go back; you will be ill, and cannot be responsible."

With the mason's trowel, Montesor has more fun with mind tricks, making puns on the word mason. So, when he finally walls in Fortunato, he feels that he has accomplished his artistic plan of revenge and takes pride in his accomplishing this crime without retribution for fifty years, punctuating his tale with the Latin phrase that signals his pride in his revenge.

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted September 1, 2009 at 2:44 AM (Answer #2)

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