Posted by: Samantha | October 3, 2008

Review: The Cask of Amontillado

In 9th grade English, we were told to read the Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe.  I was already a fan of Poe, but this short story quickly became one of my favorites!  Montresor, who is telling the tale, has obviously been offended or insulted by a prominent man and self-declared wine connoisseur, Fortunato.

In order to get even, Montresor comes up with a fantastically evil plan – and lets no one in on it.  He claims to have purchased a lot of Amontillado (wine) and isn’t sure whether he got the real thing or not.  So, when he mentions this wine to Fortunato, he knows the connoisseur will demand to taste it.  Montresor lures Fortunato even further in by pretending to consider the connoisseur’s feelings.  Basically, Montresor says – ‘Oh, I don’t want to put you out.  I’ll ask Luchesi and see if he thinks it’s real.  You’re much too busy.’

Of course, Fortunato will not stand for this and insists on judging for himself whether the wine is real or not.  Montresor agrees, and then leads Fortunato down into his family catacombs where his wine vault was.  Several times during their walk to the wine, Montresor tries to talk Fortunato out of the task.  He warns him that the catacombs are damp and that Fortunato may become sick and ill.  He reminds Fortunato that he [Fortunato] is a loved and well-respected man and that he should just go back up where it’s safe and dry.

Over sips of Medoc (another type of wine), Fortunato continues to insist.  The beauty of the short story is that Montresor knows Fortunato will not refuse.  All the while, Montresor pretends to be a friend and be concerned, but in the back of his mind, he knows his evil plans are coming to fruition.  He secretly hates Fortunato and finds joy in giving him chances to leave the catacombs – but knows that Fortunato is too vain and pompous to leave without a taste of his weakness, Amontillado.

For those of you who don’t want to know what happens, I’ll leave it at that.  For those of you who do want to know – visit this page!

If you want a great read just in time for the Halloween season, this is a short one and definitely frightening!  There is no blood and no gore, but in my opinion, insanity and pure evil are even better.


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