Why Does Montresor Hate Fortunato

Why does Montresor hate Fortunato in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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In "The Cask of Amontillado ," we are never given a real reason as to why Montresor hates Fortunato. Montresor seems like a person who has no conscience and cares little about what he does to other people. He is just bent on revenge and takes all the necessary...

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In "The Cask of Amontillado," we are never given a real reason as to why Montresor hates Fortunato. Montresor seems like a person who has no conscience and cares little about what he does to other people. He is just bent on revenge and takes all the necessary precautions to make sure he gets his revenge on Fortunato.

"The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventrued upon insult, I vowed revenge."

This statement is the only clue we are given about what Montresor feels towards Fortunato. The only thing we know is that there are certain injuries that Montresor feels Fortunato has done to him. It is quite obvious that Montresor is mentally not stable. What is even more disconcerting is the fact that he is confessing to someone what he has done, and that whoever he is confessing to knows all about the problems Montresor has. It is implied within the short story that Montresor has gotten away with this kind of thing before, and he will more than likely get away with it again.

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This is a question that has puzzled readers of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Cask of Amontillado," ever since its publication. It is likely that Poe deliberately did not give more information or a specific reason about the relationship between the two characters, probably to maintain the mystery that surrounds the two men. We know that the two, Fortunato and Montresor, are acquaintances, and that they come from old, wealthy families. As for Montresor's hatred, we are only given two hints: We know, from the first line of the story, that

THE THOUSAND INJURIES of Fortunato I had borne as I best could...

The injuries are never explained by Montresor, and there is no further mention of them in the story. We also know that

... when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.

Again, the specific insult is never identified, but judging from Montresor's decision to kill Fortunato for the offense, it must have been fairly serious.

 

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At the beginning of the short story, Montresor mentions that Fortunato has caused him a "thousand injuries" and insulted his family's prestigious name. Interestingly, Montresor does not elaborate on how Fortunato harmed him a thousand times, but the reader can surmise that Fortunato verbally insulted Montresor publicly or offended his family's name after analyzing Fortunato's character. Montresor describes Fortunato as being respected and feared by his neighbors, friends, and associates. Montresor also characterizes Fortunato as a confident, arrogant man. Once Montresor persuades Fortunato to follow him into his catacombs, Fortunato mentions that the vaults are extensive. Montresor quickly reminds him that his family is "great" and "numerous" before elaborating on his family's coat of arms. Montresor's response reveals his pride in his family's name, which is further evidence that he seeks revenge because Fortunato has offended his family. Overall, Montresor does not directly address why he hates Fortunato, but one can surmise that his hate stems from Fortunato publicly insulting his family's name or verbally abusing him.

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The short answer is, we don't really know.

The somewhat longer answer is, we only get sweeping generalities at the start of the story, and then a few times later. We know he says Fortunato had done him a "thousand injuries," but we don't learn what they are. We know he sees Fortunato as having insulted him--but we don't know what the insult is, and Fortunato seems to think they are on good terms. Therefore, we'll have to say that Montressor's insane pride was hurt, and that's all we know.

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