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Explanation of The Cask Amontillado

            Fortunato's pride ultimately pays the price with his death at the hands of Montressor's sweet revenge all in the name of family honor. Fortunato's pride in his connoisseurship of wine blinds him into Montressor's revenge plot. Montressor happens to come upon Fortunato in a drunken state that only helps his scheme. In convincing Fortunato to come with him he uses his rival in the "connoisseurship of wine-, saying, "As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi."" (13) This obviously sparks Fortunato's interest and replies, "Luchresi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry."" (14). Montressor even offers many options for Fortunato to bow out of this opportunity, but Formulator's interest is too strong. Montressor jumps at this opportunity that Fortunato has given him; Fortunato's anxious pride makes it all too easy. .
             The irony played by Montressor in asking, "how long have you had that cough?- (31) and statements that Fortunato's "health is precious- (35). It is very obvious that he doesn't care about Fortunato's current state of health as they continue to drink all the way down catacombs. Montressor is aware of Fortunato's intrigue in the cask but humbles him with a sense of caring. Such dialog as when Fortunato says, "I shall not die of a cough" (36), Montressor replies, "True-true" (37). Montressor answers Fortunato knowing that he will die by being buried alive. Fortunato's pride shines through this entire tale and he never imagines that he could be buried alive but assumes he will die from doing something noble and courageous. Montressor's snicker reminds him of how easy this is going to be. .
             The symbolism of Montressor's coat of arms is used throughout the story to show that "punish with impunity-. The description of Montressor's coat of arms is "A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel" (47). The motto of Montressor's family is, "Nemo me impune lacessit" (49), which means, "No one insults me with impunity".

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