In "The Cask of Amontillado," what did Fortunato say or do to insult Montresor so badly?

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Poe does not explicitly tell the reader what exactly Fortunato said or did to motivate Montresor to plot and execute the perfect revenge. At the beginning of the short story, Montresor says that he had endured a "thousand injuries" from Fortunato, but when Fortunato "ventured upon insult," he vowed revenge....

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Poe does not explicitly tell the reader what exactly Fortunato said or did to motivate Montresor to plot and execute the perfect revenge. At the beginning of the short story, Montresor says that he had endured a "thousand injuries" from Fortunato, but when Fortunato "ventured upon insult," he vowed revenge. While the "thousand injuries" is quite vague, one can surmise from Fortunato's character and Montresor's family pride that Fortunato more than likely verbally insulted Montresor or his family's name. When Montresor initially meets Fortunato, Fortunato is depicted as a confident man, as he insults Luchresi when Montresor suggests that he consult Luchresi regarding the Amontillado. As the two men enter Montresor's vaults, Montresor reveals his family pride by referring to his ancestors as "great" and "numerous." Montresor also explains to Fortunato his family's coat of arms as they travel down further and further into the catacombs. While Poe does not explicitly state what Fortunato did that made Montresor so upset, one can surmise that Fortunato probably verbally insulted Montresor or his family's name.

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Poe never states the reason for the revenge.  He takes it outside the realm of justifiability.  the focuse is not on whether the act deserved death, but on the act of revenge itself.  He makes Montresor the "bad guy," rather than Fortunato.

However, given Montresor's character, it's difficult not to assume that it was something minor.  Montresor seems pretty unbalanced, don't you think?  In fact, Fortunato doesn't even seem to be aware that he has insulted Montresor at all.  And therein lies the horror--we never know when we've ticked off a madman.....

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