Does Montresor Feel Guilty?

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Consequences don’t matter when dumping what made you feel like the dump. Murdering can be an abbreviated word as killing a person for any reason; nevertheless, it can also be used as self-defense in certain occasions. The Cask of Amontillado, a horror short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, was magnificent masterpiece which consisted of a strategically well planned murder from one of the main characters, Montresor, whose pain cannot resist the temptation for revenge against his dear old friend Fortunato. However, can his revenge be justified if he was accused of murder? Is he guilty of his crime? Or will he be free for lack of evidence?

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As a matter of fact, there isn’t much to seek in for, no witness nor evidence for the reader to base a theory about it. Other than Montresor’s words such as, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge” (428). It can be concluded that Montresor has felt insecure and mad at Fortunato all those times he has insulted him, but the insult will never come to light because it’s not mentioned in the story. So what made Montresor not able to control himself this time? Was he exaggerating? Likewise, it could have been something related to his family like Fortunato did before his death with “I forget your arms” which is ironic because is symbolic in the Montresor’s family; a snake attacking the heel of the boot who’s about to smash it, and its motto is “Nemo me impune lacessit” translated to “no one hurts or attacks me with impunity. If Fortunato wasn’t so arrogant and careless, maybe Montresor would have change his mind of murdering him in the first place.

Furthermore, everything was in Montresor’s favor, the masks in the festival made the perfect timing for Montresor to guide Fortunato to his death and nobody can have evidence that they saw Fortunato with him. Under other conditions, let’s say Montresor was the main suspect for the murder of Fortunato, and they have enough evidence against him, can he be found guilty? First of all, there isn’t a specific year in the story but since it came out on 1846, the way court worked back then was different. The only evidence back then was eye-witnesses, and it’s already explained that nobody saw Montresor with Fortunato because of the masks. DNA wasn’t implemented until 1986; therefore, Montresor wouldn’t be guilty for his crime.

On the other hand, the worst-case scenario for Montresor would be if he confesses that he murdered Fortunato himself. Fortunato could have actually bully Montresor without knowing, but then there’s times he was ignorant towards Montresor’s nature. As Montresor said, “You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat” (428). It’s clearly to be emphasize his soul is like a shattered mirror holding up to anything that is hitting it. Is also Montresor’s fault for not revealing his feelings a lot sooner since he knew that Fortunato was a person with pride and insensitivity for not noticing his rage from his insults. Of course there were plenty other ways to fix the problem but as Montresor says, “A wrong is undressed when retribution overtakes its redresser…” (428). It describes Montresor’s idea of justice will only be successful is he does the suffering himself. But then again, would the court believe all of this? Words from the defendant will never be use as a reliable source for the judges, so since Montresor does not have any proof that Fortunato was the one who caused and triggered him to do such thing. His actions would not be justified, and he loses all his privileges and rights for a second chance.

Murdering is one way of getting rid of people who disrespects you as a human, but is it really worth the attempt? Consequences will always happen even when they are not yet deal with. Just as it happened with Montresor in the last part of the story, he was in denial and remorse for his sin. As Marilyn Monroe says, “everything happens for a reason.” 

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Does Montresor Feel Guilty?. (2021, Jul 28). Retrieved November 28, 2022 , from

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