The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

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Redresser Definition

In "The Cask of Amontillado, what does, "A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser" mean?

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William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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If somebody kills a man in order to get revenge for something that man did to him, and then if the killer gets caught and either gets sent to prison or executed, doesn't the killer still have his revenge? Poe seems to think the killer has to get away with the crime without even being suspected, or else he has not gotten the revenge he is after. Yet there have always been many people who have committed revenge-murders and gotten convicted and who probably still felt satisfied that they had gotten the vengeance they desired. There must be many cases in which the person wanting revenge actually...

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William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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scarchin | Student

What it means is that if the "redresser" becomes consumed with revenge, then he "fails" at revenge. Of course, this is ironic because Montresor is clearly obsessed with avenging the (imagined?) injuries  and insults he has suffered.
He is bragging to you about how he was cool, calm, and collected about his revenge because he knew he had a "definitive" and flawless plan in place - so he is able to "smile" at Fortunato. He knows what is coming and he is happy - and not upset and "overtaken."

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gloryalee | Student

it means that if a wrong is unavenged if the avenger himself gets into trouble! so, basically: dont get caught

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algorithm97 | Student

It is boiled down to the fact that revenge is not completed without complete realization of the victim of the revenge realizing. The person who caused the need for revenge must understand what he did to deserve it as a punishment. He must demonstrate fear in order for the revenge to be complete. the person who was originally harmed by the person who the revenge was directed upons actions must be realized bt the original offender.

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alpha567 | Student

A wrong is forgiven by taking revenge

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cinderelly | Student

You can rephrase it saying : a wrong is not revenged if the revenger either is punished for taking revenge or doesnt make the wrongdoer aware that he is taking revenge.That is wat written in my literature book hope my answer helps.

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