Explain the quote, "You are a man to be respected."  

Expert Answers
sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

That specific line of text does not exist in Poe's short story "The Cask of Amontillado."  There are some lines of text that get close.  

“Come,” I said, with decision, “we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. 

This one too: 

He had a weak point—this Fortunato—although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine.

In both of the above quotes, the speaker is Montresor, and he is either speaking directly to Fortunato or about Fortunato.  

Montresor does not like Fortunato. Maybe he once did, but at the start of the story Montresor makes it clear that Fortunato must die. 

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

Montresor knows that he has to some how lure Fortunato into a place where he can be silently killed.  Montresor's plan is to play upon Fortunato's pride.  Fortunato is loud and pompous; he believes his opinions on wine are infallible.  That's what Montresor uses against him.  He tells Fortunato that he has an expensive Amontillado to be tasted, and Fortunato cannot resist.  Then Montresor increases the temptation by stroking Fortunato's pride.  He tells Fortunato that he is too well respected to waste his fine tastes on something that is not guaranteed.  Fortunato soaks it all in, and is goaded even further into Montresor's cellar.  Once there, Fortunato kills him.  

Read the study guide:
The Cask of Amontillado

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question