The Motive Behind the Murder

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The Motive behind the Murder
Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” describes Montresor’s deadly revenge against his friend Fortunato who he claims has insulted him. Since readers are unable to find the precise explanation of Montresor’s abhorrence of Fortunato, most of the readers conclude that Montresor is insane and unbalanced. However, this interpretation fails to explain the character of Montresor and goes against the intricate details of the plot. The short story’s emphasis on the elaborate murder shows Montresor’s sophisticated philosophy of revenge, which is “No one insults me with impunity”. The motive of his vengeance is because of Fortunato’s arrogance and his insulting Montresor, who is indeed equal or even superior to him. Since Fortunato can remember neither the coat of arms nor the motto of Montresor, it is logical to say that Fortunato comes from a less prominent family than Montresor. The conflict between Fortunato and Montresor arises from the sensation of incongruity between their current social standing and their right to prominence by virtue of their origin.
Fortunato regards Montresor’s family as less prominent than his family because Montresor is not an active participant in the life of local aristocracy. When Fortunato noted how extensive the vaults are, Montresor tells him that he came from a great and enormous family. However, Fortunato cannot remember Montresor’s coat of arms and his family motto. At that time, the display of a family’s insignia is a significant part in the life of a socially prominent aristocrat. Since Fortunato, who is a wealthy and authoritative aristocrat, could not recognize Montresor’s insignia, it is reasonable to say that Montresor does not play an active role among the local aristocracy. Although Montresor could not recognize the secret gesture of the Order of Mason played by Fortunato, it does…...

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