In "The Cask of Amontillado," what are some obvious reasons that Montressor would kill Fortunato?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There is no way to know the insult because Montresor never says what it is. Personally, I think that Poe left it up in the air because he wanted us to use our imaginations in the matter.  I don’t think it was an important thing, because Fortunado does not remember.

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renkins44 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Be less focused on the "answer" and more focused on justifying the rationale leading to an answer. A number of answers can work if the omnipresent symbolism is heeded and its parts aggregated. Specifically, when analyzing the significance of a symbol, be sure to exhaust everything about it. For example, Montressor put on a "black silk" mask as he was leading Fortunado into the catacombs. At one point in time, executioners would wear these masks before beheading a criminal. Discover what time frame this type of execution was done in and what types of crimes permitted beheading by a masked executioner, thus significantly narrowing the possible "crimes" Fortunado committed against Montressor. Next, examine Christ's "crimes" that ultimately led to his death and move on to exploring other possible symbols. The reader can repeat this process indefinetly (or at least until all symbols are exhausted), closely analyzing and fitting evidence together much like a police detective would do to a crime scene.

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

This is a good question for the discussion board since it is a subjective one.

I think this question is subjective and depending on who you ask, you will get all sorts of answers.  I do not believe there are any justifiable reasons for Montresor's murder of Fortunato; however, in Montresor's mind, reasons for murdering Fortunato might include insulting Montresor's family or upbringing, mocking him for some reason, or questioning his knowledge or education.  We do not know what Fortunato supposedly did to Montesor to prompt him to want to murder him; in my opinion, nothing he could have done justified his murder.

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The reason for his actions that Montressor offers the reader is that Fortunato insulted him in some way.  Although the nature of the offense is never disclosed, apparently Montressor believes that it is reason enough to kill him.  Hints about what is to happen are when Montressor talks about his family crest, the foot stepping on a serpent which is in turn biting the foot, and when he mentions that his family motto is "No one insults me with impunity (freedom from punishment)".  Both foreshadow that Montressor intends to take vengeance for the insult.

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sydhardone | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

The crime’s of Fortunato are actually never stated physically in the book.  The crime that he has is his character.  His character is a rich snob that does not do work and likes wine.  It is foreshadowed that Fortunato has some hoe insulted the family sand it’s crest so that Montresor will punish with impunity.  The crime does not matter very much at all.

 

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