Mad Montresor: An unreliable storyteller .
Infamous Nineteenth century American writer Edgar Allan Poe is best known for crafting gothic writings that have deep characters and dark themes. His 1846 psychological thriller "Cask of Amontillado" is a perfect example because it not only has a narrator that appears to have a mental discrepancy but also has a murderous theme of revenge. The main character and narrator, Montresor, feels that he has been wronged by a friend, Fortunato, so in order to make things right, in his mind, he must seek vengeance against the man. Montresor lures the wine aficionado into his family tomb with the offer of tasting a dry Sherry of Amontillado. When in the catacombs he walls in the unfortunate Fortunato. Through telling the story through the eyes of an unreliable narrator and the use of irony, Poe makes the reader examine the internal mental process of a man over the edge.
From the first line of the story, one can already detect that the narrator is not completely truthful with his audience. He exclaims; "The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge" Any reader should infer that Fortunato did not really wound Montresor a thousand times. From the jovial manner that Fortunato treats Montresor at the Carnival, it is hard to tell if Fortunato harmed Montresor, intentionally or not, at all. There is a slim amount of acts that he could have carried out that would have been redeemable with the fate that he received from the narrator. Montresor, with his mental instability and paranoia, could have been interpreting the slightest words of jest or humor from Fortunato as a harsh verbal assault and do to his lack of judgment, determined these as worthy by a long, gratuitous death. Also in his opening address to the reader, he frankly expresses that the reader knows so well "the nature of my soul," thus making the audience actually think what his mental mindset is.