How are Montresor and Fortunato alike in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "The Cask of Amontillado," there are some similarities between Montresor, the narrator of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, and Fortunato.

One similarity is that they both considered themselves to be connoisseurs of wine.

"In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack, but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially--I was skillful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could."

Fortunato and Montresor are also alike in social status. They are both noblemen, evidenced by their coats-of-arms and the fact that they call each other friend. People tended to socialize within their class at the time this story is set. Montresor invites Fortunato to his "palazzo," which is Italian for a palace.  

Another similarity they have is that they are both prideful. Fortunato considers himself superior to Luchesi, saying Luchesi can't tell amontillado from common cooking sherry. He also proudly lords it over Montresor that he is a member of the Freemasons, and it is indicated that Montresor is not, since he doesn't recognize the gesticulations of Fortunato. Montresor is prideful in that he will not stand for Fortunato insulting him without exacting his revenge.  The fact that his revenge is carefully thought out and heinous shows the depth of his pride and arrogance.  

And finally, they are both attending carnival, which implies that they are culturally aware and interested in the social aspects of the time period in which they are living. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Good question!  They are both single-mindedly in pursuit of something (Montresor about killing his foe, Fortunato about the amontillado), they are about the same age, from the story and the language they use it seems they are from similar backgrounds.  They have many of the same interests, including, but not limited to, their love of fine wines.  They both love a good party, and perhaps a good joke.  Fortunato obviously believes up until the last horrifying moment that Montresor is kidding around as he handcuffs Fortunato to the wall and begins to brick him into the wall itself.  They are both arrogant--Fortunato about his knowledge and expertise of fine wines; Montresor about the ills done to him by his greatest foe, Fortunato.

Check out the links below in order to find more ways to compare the two characters of this story and also how to support your opinions.  Good Luck!

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial