In "The Cask of Amontillado," what is the quality of revenge Montresor seeks on Fortunato? How does is relate to the Montresor ancestry? 

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pmiranda2857 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a special quality to the type of revenge that Montresor seeks against Fortunato.  He not only wants to punish him for the thousand insults that he has suffered at the hands of Fortunato, but,

"he is determined to "not only punish, but punish with impunity.’’ The terms of the revenge are quite clear in Montresor's mind. He will not feel fully revenged unless Fortunato realizes that his punishment comes at Montresor's hand; a wrong is not redressed "when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.’’

"In seeking revenge, Montresor is acting out the motto of his people, as it appears on the family coat of arms, Nemo me impune lacessit ("No one wounds me with impunity’’)."

The word impunity means freedom or exemption from injurious consequences or punishment.  Montresor wants to make sure that Fortunato knows that the revenge exacted on him is his punishment for the thousand wrongs he has done to him. 

It's not enough that Fortunato be punished for what he has done, he must know who his punisher is, in this case his murderer, so that Montresor can satisfy the code of his ancestors and they can now rest in peace once more in their graves.


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The Cask of Amontillado

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