illustration of Fortunato standing in motley behind a mostly completed brick wall with a skull superimposed on the wall where his face should be

The Cask of Amontillado

by Edgar Allan Poe
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To whom, do you suppose, is Montresor telling the story? Upon what evidence do you base your assumption?

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Montresor is likely telling this story to his confessor at the end of his life. While we don't know this for a fact, several context clues indicate this is an end-of-life confession. First, the story is set in Italy, a Catholic country, so it's very likely Montresor is Roman Catholic...

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Montresor is likely telling this story to his confessor at the end of his life. While we don't know this for a fact, several context clues indicate this is an end-of-life confession. First, the story is set in Italy, a Catholic country, so it's very likely Montresor is Roman Catholic and therefore would hope to be absolved of his sins by a priest before death. It's significant that Montresor says in the last line that the events he narrates occurred fifty years before, noting that no mortal has disturbed Fortunato's bones for "half a century." This would indicate he is an old man, likely on his deathbed. Further, in the first line of the story, he addresses the person to whom he is narrating his tale as "you who so well know the nature my soul." He seems to be speaking to just one individual who knows him well: Who would know his "soul" better than his priest?

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