In "The Cask of Amontillado," by Edgar Allen Poe, the dark side of human nature is shown through the character of Montresor and his victim, Fortunato. Montresor is a manipulative and evil person who wants revenge on Fortunato for insulting him. These characteristics end up leading to the death of Fortunato, a man who has wronged him. Through the acts, words, and the thoughts of the character, one is able to see him carry out his plan for revenge. The setting is at the carnival in Italy. It then moves to the catacombs of Montresor's home where he leads Fortunato to at the end. .
Montresor wears a "mask of black silk" and a heavy knee length cloak (192). Montresor's clothes seem to indicate his wanting to conceal himself so he can carry out his devious plan. On the other hand, Fortunato wears a "tight fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells" (191). His clothing seems to indicate his trusting but foolish nature. The clothing of both characters seems to set the mood for what types of characters they were. However, Montresor's true character is indicated through his words. From the start of the story his vengeful nature sets the tone for the acts that will follow. One of the first things that Montresor narrates to the reader about Fortunato is that he " must not only punish but punish with impunity" (191). Montresor is also manipulative, as he tells Fortunato that he will have someone else taste the Amontillado, knowing that by doing this Fortunato will feel compelled to taste the wine himself. "As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchresi. If anyone has a critical turn I is he. He will tell me- (192). In addition to being manipulative and vengeful he also displays some other traits. Montresor addresses Fortunato in the catacombs saying, "your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy as once I was. You are a man to be missed" (193).