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The Motive Behind The Murder Essay

1858 words - 8 pages

The Motive behind the Murder
Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” describes Montresor’s deadly revenge against his friend Fortunato who he claims has insulted him. Since readers are unable to find the precise explanation of Montresor’s abhorrence of Fortunato, most of the readers conclude that Montresor is insane and unbalanced. However, this interpretation fails to explain the character of Montresor and goes against the intricate details of the plot. The short story’s emphasis on the elaborate murder shows Montresor’s sophisticated philosophy of revenge, which is “No one insults me with impunity”. The motive of his vengeance is because of Fortunato’s arrogance and his ...view middle of the document...

At the end of the story, Montresor told Fortunato that “You are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be misses”, which also verified that Montresor used to be as socially conspicuous as Fortunato.
Though now Montresor is not as wealthy and puissant as Fortunato, Montresor possibly has a better aristocratic lineage than Fortunato. The vaults of Montresor’s family are extensive and their vastness genuinely shocks Fortunato. The vaults, surrounded by the remains of Montresor’s ancestors, indicate the hidden wealth of his family, which also shows how powerful and rich his family used to be. “I suffered him to hurry me to my palazzo” shows further evidence of the prominence of Montresor’s family. Poe uses the word “suffered” to indict Montresor’s unwillingness to lead Fortunato to his palazzo. Montresor does not want his noble origin to be disturbed by Fortunato because Fortunato is a comparable minor aristocrat and Montresor is proud of his better aristocratic lineage than Fortunato’s. Furthermore, Fortunato even could not remember that Montresors “were a great and numerous family”. Fortunato is the one who become rich fortuitously, and of course he did not know Montresor’s aristocratic lineage. This fortuitous ground of Fortunato’s wealth and power also become Montresor’s motive of revenge.
Not only did Montresor have a prominent aristocratic background, but he is also more intelligent than Fortunato, which also becomes the motive of his revenge. The crime Montresor did to Fortunato is so elaborate and intricate that only the most intelligent individual could possess the brainpower and patience it requires to meticulously plot it. It takes a lot of planning and forethought to execute such a murder. He planned every detail of this murder including when it would happen, how it would happen, and where it would happen. For example, Montresor picks the carnival season to commit his crime. Montresor had “made” all of the servants off for the night, using the excuse of the carnival. In this way, he prevents others from witnessing the atrocity he planned to commit. When people could not find Fortunato, they would not think he is murdered because it is hard to relate the happy carnival to such a ferocious crime. The carnival provided Montresor occasion to commit his murder, as well as a time when social distinctions were blurred. People will not be disguised by their classes. As Fortunato is wearing a costume of a fool, it is the best time for Montresor’s murder so that he can make a fool of Fortunato. By wearing the costume of a fool, Fortunato becomes socially inferior to Montresor, especially when Montresor is wearing the costume of an executioner. By saying “How remarkably well you are looking today”, Montresor actually mocked Fortunato and he considered the “fool-looked” costume appropriate for Fortunato, showing his in-mind socially superior.
The seemingly negligible but actually crucial detail that he painstakingly arranged shows Montresor is...

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