45 pages 1 hour read

Edgar Allan Poe

The Cask of Amontillado

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1846

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Important Quotes

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“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.”

(Page 161)

This quote sets the tone and establishes the story’s theme of vengeance. Montresor never explains the “thousand injuries” against him, leaving the reader to follow the unreliable narrative. The reader does, however, understand the narrator’s motivation from the outset of the story.

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“I must not only punish but punish with impunity.”

(Page 161)

Montresor thus lays out his mission. He plans to punish Fortunato but will attempt to do so with no ill effects upon himself. This line also ties into the Montresor family motto: “No one attacks me with impunity” (211). This element of irony highlights something like hypocrisy in the narrator.

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“There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honour of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house.”

(Page 162)

Montresor reveals how he has orchestrated his house attendants to be out of his way during his plan. This demonstrates the level of his calculative deception. He has set his plan in motion so that he can carry it out undisturbed.