Fortunato's name resembles the words fortunate and fortune. According to his life and his attitude toward life, how could he be considered a fortunate person in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Author Edgar Allan Poe no doubt selected the name of this character carefully for his short story, "The Cask of Amontillado." It is used primarily for its ironic intent--Fortunato's journey into the catacombs with Montresor does not end in good fortune nor in a fortunate manner. However, up until this time, Fortunato has lived a good life. A wealthy man, Fortunato obviously has reached a higher social status than Montresor. He comes from an old family, lives in a palazzo himself with the Lady Fortunato, and

... he was a man to be respected and even feared.

Montresor understands this, and it could be part of his desire for revenge.

"You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed."

Fortunato seems incredulous when Montresor pretends to be a Mason, a secret fraternal society whose members are only of the highest status. It seems that Montresor is not worthy of such a position.

"You? Impossible!"

Fortunato forgets Montresor's coat-of-arms, perhaps because its significance is inconsequential to a man so powerful and loved. Fortunato fails to recognize that Montresor's repeated addresses to him as "my friend" are only a ruse, and his lofty status in the community may have "dulled his senses" to the recognition that he had any enemies.

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The Cask of Amontillado

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