What costume is Fortunato wearing in Poe's short story, "The Cask of Amontillado"?
Fortunato is the victim of the narrator Montresor in Edgar Allan Poe's macabre short story "The Cask of Amontillado." The story takes place during Carnival. Carnival is a raucous festival on the eve of the forty day period called Lent, the Christian time of abstinence before Easter. Carnival literally means a farewell to meat. Carnival is usually marked by extreme and excessive binging on food and alcohol. Participants usually celebrate in brightly colored costumes.
Montresor chooses Carnival as the time to carry out his plot to murder Fortunato. He knows that amidst the chaos of the celebration he will be able to get away with the crime. The plan involves luring Fortunato down into the catacombs below Montresor's villa. The fact that Fortunato is in a celebratory and somewhat inebriated state makes it easy for Montresor. When they meet in the street, Fortunato is wearing the typical garb of the season, a multi-colored "dress" and a cap with bells. Picture a jester from medieval times. Poe describes the man:
The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells.