In "The Cask of Amontillado", which of Montressor's words and actions could have revealed his plan to Fortunato?

Expert Answers
Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several clues that Montressor has nothing good plannned for Fortunato. For one thing, he mentions his family motto, which translates into "No one attacks me with impunity (freedom from punishment)".  Had Fortunato realized that he'd insulted Montressor in some way, that motto would have given him a clue that Montressor would take revenge.  Montressor also mentions his family crest, which is a foot stepping on a snake, but the snake in turn is biting the foot stepping on it.  This is a pictorial representation of the motto regarding revenge.  Even if he never realized that he'd insulted Montressor, Fortunato could have been alerted by the trowel Montressor carried.  Who needs a trowel to see a cask of wine?  They even chat about Montressor being a mason, so that conversation might have made Fortunato wonder about the reason for the trowel.  But Montressor is clever and plays on Fortunato's pride about being a wine expert, and even suggests several times that they turn back if the nitre is too much for Fortunato.  It is Fortunato who insists that they continue.  Montressor, in  his mind, tells himself, "Hey, I gave him every chance, but he's the one who refused to go back."

Read the study guide:
The Cask of Amontillado

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question