Are there any signs that point to the end of the short story,  "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Poe uses the element of foreshadowing throughout his tale of revenge.  When Montrassor displays a trowel that he has hidden beneath his cloak, this foreshadows his intent to wall Fortunato in the catacombs.  Montressor's family crest and motto are also indicators that things will not go well for Fortunato in the end.  The family crest is a foot stepping on a serpent, and the serpent is biting the heel that is stepping on him.  The motto translates into "No one attacks me with impunity", meaning that anyone who "attacks" a Montressor will face the consequences.  In Montressor's mind, Fortunato has insulted him in some way.  The fact that the nature of the insult is never explained adds to the horror.  It may have been as simple as "I don't like your shoes", but Montressor would feel justified, based on his family motto and crest, in punishing Fortunato.  When the reader hears Montressor describe the motto and crest, he gets the feeling that Fortunato is not going to be so fortunate in the end.

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The Cask of Amontillado

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