How does the Cask of Amontillado look at revenge?

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huntress eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The unnamed narrator of "The Cask of Amontillado" clearly thinks of revenge as a noble endeavor. Montresor and Fortunato are both noblemen, and Montresor's coat of arms and family motto both indicate that he takes pride in revenge. 

His coat of arms is that of "a huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel." That is, it is a golden foot on a shy-blue background which is crushing a rearing serpent which is biting him. The implication is that the Montresors are the foot and even if it hurts them, they will win in the end. His motto is "Nemo me impune lacessit," which means "No one attacks me with impunity." 

Fortunato seems to agree (ironically) that this approach to revenge is admirable, because when he asks about the coat of arms and the motto (and Montresor answers him), he says, "Good!" 

Finally, if the narrator is to be believed, he is telling this tale 50 years after it happened, and his tone is one of pride--not shame.