The Cask Of Amontillado Essay

819 words - 3 pages

Pride is a self-destructive personality trait that can and will unavoidably cause ones downfall. Pride was one of central focuses in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado". The story portrayed a man, Montresor (protagonist), whom was motivated by revenge because his pride was injured. His pride caused him to persuade a "friend", Fortunato, to go into The Montresor family catacomb in order to get Fortunatos "expert" judgment on some wine. Fortunato is a very proud man so he was completely oblivious to the detail that he was actually never going to be able to leave the Montresor catacomb. With the two main characters and the setting Poe was able to clearly portray the theme that a man's pride will unavoidably cause his downfall.Montresor's pride was very recognizable throughout the whole story. He was offended by Fortunato which caused him to vow revenge. "THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge." (Poe 1). "Montresor is full of aristocratic pride reflected in his thoughts of titles of nobility, genealogy, escutcheons, coats of arms, quarterings, the bones of ancestors, fiefs, and inheritable property." (Benton 1). His desire for revenge was directly linked to his family motto, "Nemo me impune lacessit."(Poe 5) which means no one attacks me with impunity. The motto made it obvious that Montresor's ancestors had just as much pride as he does, therefore one can conclude that they would respond to an attack in the same manner. Montresor's family motto made him believe that it was okay to abolish any person that attacked him and damaged his pride, which in the end lead to his choice to murder Fortunato. In addition Fortunato's pride was also very identifiable throughout the story. His pride lead him to fall right into Montresor's trap. "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. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity--to practice imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and in gemmary Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack--but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially: I was skillful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely...

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