Why Does Montresor Want Revenge

Why does Montresor seek revenge in "The Cask of Amontillado?"

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belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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There is no specific reason given for Montresor's actions. He spells out his personal justification in the famous first line of the story:

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.
(Poe, "The Cask of Amontillado," eNotes eText)

Since both Montresor and Fortunato are wealthy members of the upper-class, it can be inferred that they strive for the same status and recognition in society. Perhaps Fortunato blocked Montresor from an honor, or took his place in some fashion; it is seen later that Fortunato is a member of the Masons and Montresor is not, which could show how Fortunato is seen by the public in a higher status. The insult, which pushed Montresor over the edge, could have been aimed at himself, or at a member of his family. Montresor here seeks to repudiate Fortunato, but in his own way, secretly, so only Fortunato knows how and why he was killed.

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annapei | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

Montresor seeks revenge because Fortunato has insulted him. Although insult seems like a small measure for incentive in murder, Montresor seems to be extremely sensitive to verbal abuse rather than physical, as he says in the first line, "the thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.".

justaquestion's profile pic

justaquestion | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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it is not clear why Montresor wants revenge but all the reader knows is that Fortunato did something to Montresor and Montresor wants revenge.

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