What are the 3 ambiguous qualities in "The Cask of Amontillado"? I need to write an essay on several ambiguities in detail - I'm stumped. Help!ambiguous meaning open to or having several...

What are the 3 ambiguous qualities in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

I need to write an essay on several ambiguities in detail - I'm stumped. Help!

ambiguous meaning open to or having several possible meanings or interpretations...

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first and most prominent ambiguity in "The Cask of Amontillado" is in the "thousand injuries" that Montesor has supposedly borne from Fortunato. The narrator never mentions specifically any; thus, the reader is let wondering if Montesor himself is merely a mad man.

Another ambiguity occurs with the character of Fortunato who seems so unsuspecting of Montesor. As his host leads him through darker and narrower passages, Fortunato never seems to pick up on the hints that Montesor gives him; even if he is inebriated, he certainly should react more when Montesor shakles him and tethers him to a wall.  But, he says nothing.

Finally, when Montesor walls in Fortunato, Fortunato cries out, then is silent, and after several tiers are laid, he again screams.  But, he gives no indication that he understands why he is being walled in.  Nor does he even ask Montesor why.  Thus the reader wonders if Montesor has committed any such offenses, or if  he is too "obstinate" as the narrator describes him, to broach the subject.

Read the study guide:
The Cask of Amontillado

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question