The Cask of Amontillado

From LitWiki
“The Cask of Amontillado”
AuthorEdgar Allan Poe
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Horror Fiction
Publication dateNovember 1846

“The Cask of Amontillado” is a 1846 short horror story wrote by Edgar Allan Poe.


“The Cast of Amontillado” begins by recounting the last meeting between two aristocratic gentlemen, the narrator Montresor, and the wine connoisseur Fortunato.[1] Montresor is plotting his revenge for the thousand injuries Fortunato did to him.[2] While at the pre-Lenten festival, Montresor tells Fortunato that he has in his possession a cast of amontillado sherry and does not feel as though it is authentic.[1] Montresor leads Fortunato deep underground to his family catacombs in his palazzo. Although Fortunato has a cough from the nitre, he continues so his rival Luchesi does not steal his opportunity to taste the wine. Once they get into the catacombs Montresor chains him to the wall and begins to use a trowel and fresh mortar to entomb Fortunato.[1]

The story begins at a drinking festival during the Carnivale in an unspecified year in Italy. To entice his victim into his trap and seek revenge over Fortunato's "thousand injuries" against Montresor and his family, Montresor appropriates a key symbol of Freemasonry.



He is the narrator of the story. He's a fascinating and nuanced character whose desire for vengeance drives the plot. His family motto is Nemo me impune lacessit,[3] which translates to "no one insults me with impunity," which explains his motivation for murdering his friend.


His name means "fortunate". He is Montresor's Italian friend who is completely oblivious to his friend's revenge motive. It isn't until Montresor locks him in a crypt and begins to brick him in that Fortunato finally realizes he's been tricked. He is the antagonist of the story and loves vintage wines and carnival attire.

Fortunato apparently has a brotherhood and Montresor recognizes this fact and utilizes it for his own destruction hatred and his longing to lure Fortunate to his death.


Even though Luchesi isn't a key character in the story, he is still talked about. Luchesi is Fortunato's wine-tasting opponent. Montresor doesn't need to bring up Luchesi in order to entice Fortunato to his doom. The prospect of Amontillado is sufficient enough. For Montresor, Luchesi is a type of insurance.

Major Themes

Montresor is motivated by hate and seeks revenge on Fortunato. He feels as if he has insulted him and caused a thousand injuries to him but the injuries are not identified in the short story "The Cask of the Amontillado.

The plot revolves around alcohol and inebriation, with both contributing to Fortunato's gullibility and eventual demise in Montresor's wine cellar. Engaging Fortunato in dialogue ripe with irony, Montresor lures his victim deep into the family catacombs, urging him to try other wines along the way. [4]

Publication History

Explanation of the Work's Title

The Cask of Amontillado is translated to Casket of Wine. Montresor uses the wine to talk Fortunato into following him into his family catacombs. That is how Montresor was able to enact his revenge by entombing Fortunato.[1]

Literary Significance and Reception

Awards and Nominations


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Nesbitt 2000, p. 297.
  2. Sipiora 2002, p. 240.
  3. Sipiora 2002, p. 242.
  4. Nesbett 2000, p. 297.

Works Cited

Also see the annotated bibliography.

  • Nesbitt, Anna (2000). "Edgar Allan Poe". The Cask of Amontillado. Gale Group. pp. 297–354.
  • Poe, Edgar (2002). "The Cask of Amontillado". In Sipiora, Phillip (ed.). Reading and Writing about Literature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. pp. 240–244.

External Links