Most of the people celebrating the carnival would have been wearing costumes. Poe's narrator Montresor relates of Fortunato:
He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells.
Fortunato has apparently chosen a costume that represents the way he thinks of himself, which is as a witty and funny man. The costume with the cap and bells is ideal for Poe's plot purposes because it is so conspicuous. If people didn't at first notice the man in the gaudy costume, their attention would be attracted by the ringing bells. No doubt this costume also makes Fortunato seem like a bit of a fool, but for plot purposes it makes him conspicuous and thereby seems to increase Montresor's difficulties in luring him to his palazzo without being noticed as his companion. Montresor has many difficulties to cope with. The story is mainly about how the narrator deals with all the possible things that could go wrong and achieves his ideal revenge.
The fact that...
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