What does the narrator mean when he says, "It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong"? I think the first sentence ("A wrong is undressed when retribution overtakes its redresser") says that a wrong is undone once the avenger gets revenge? Does the second part mean that a wrong can also be undone if the avenger feels guilty about what he did to get revenge?

In the first paragraph of Edgar Allan Poe's “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor asserts that he will plan his revenge against Fortunato carefully so that he does not get caught and punished but also so that Fortunato knows exactly who is taking revenge upon him and why. Only then will revenge be sweet in Montresor's eyes.

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The narrator, Montresor, carries a deep, dangerous grudge against Fortunato. The latter's injuries against Montresor are abundant, but Montresor has borne them quietly. Now, however, the time has come for revenge. Montresor will not settle for just any revenge, however. He will not threaten Fortunato. He will not let him know that anything is wrong between them. He will take his time. He will plan carefully. He will eliminate all risk. He will punish Fortunato without any danger to himself yet in such a way that Fortunato will clearly know that Montresor is taking his revenge.

This is the key to understanding Montresor's words at the end of the story's first paragraph. “A wrong,” he says, “is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser.” In other words, revenge is not sweet or effective if the person taking revenge is caught in the act and punished. The original wrong still stands, and in fact, the wrong is probably actually multiplied in the eyes of the offended party,...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 19, 2020