1. Has anyone ever done anything to
you that made you want to get
revenge on them? What did they
2. Have you ever gotten revenge
on someone for something they
did to you? What did you do to
them in return? Why did you feel
a need to get revenge?
3. Explain how the revenge made
you feel. Did you get caught? If
you had gotten caught, would that
have changed the feeling the
revenge gave you? Explain.
• Usually, catacombs. an underground
cemetery, especially one consisting of
tunnels and rooms with recesses dug out
for coffins and tombs.
• an underground passageway, especially
one full of twists and turns.
• a person who has special knowledge or
skill in a field.
• exemption from punishment.
• immunity from detrimental effects, as of an
• A fetter is a chain or shackle placed on the
• Usually used in the plural - “fetters” can
refer to anything that confines or restrains.
• Thus, “fettered” means confined or
restrained, literally by a chain or shackle
placed on the feet, or figuratively by
something like boredom or poverty.
• a person who is especially competent to
pass critical judgments in an art,
particularly one of the fine arts, or in
matters of taste: a connoisseur of modern
• a discerning judge of the best in any field:
a connoisseur of horses.
• a manner of walking, stepping, or running.
• to prevent the presence, existence, or
occurrence of; make impossible: The
insufficiency of the evidence precludes a
1. CHARACTERIZE Montresor.
What kind of person is he?
• Concerned with honor – kills Fortunato over
an “insult” p. 168
• Cruel – taunts Fortunato by showing him the
trowel (p. 171) and screaming w/him when
walling him up (p. 172)
• Manipulative – entraps Fortunato using F’s
own self-perception (p. 168); servants p. 169
• Sociopathic/psychopathic – commits murder
with little evidence of remorse (p. 173)
2. What might Fortunato’s name
• Someone who is fortunate
• Someone who becomes successful
through luck, not necessarily hard work
3. Why might Fortunato’s name be
• He is not fortunate in his interactions with
Montresor, which lead to his death.
• This is the opposite of what we might
expect for someone whose name implies
good luck or fortune.
4. Give examples of IRONY in the
story, including SITUATIONAL,
DRAMATIC, and VERBAL IRONY.
• Situational: Fortunato expects Amontillado
and instead receives death
• Dramatic: Fortunato doesn’t know he’ll be
killed; but reader does, and thus gets the
trowel joke (p. 171) and the cough joke (p.
• Verbal: the compliments M pays to F; p.
171 M “implores” F to return.
5. How does not knowing what
Fortunato did to Montresor
intensify the horror of this story?
• One could imagine that Fortunato’s
offense is quite minor or unintentional
and that Montresor is a particularly
• One could imagine their own friends or
acquaintances behaving like Montresor
6. Would the story be better or worse if
you knew what Fortunato did to
• Might be worse because Poe’s idea of
what is horrifying might not match yours.
• Might be better if Poe manages to tap into
your deepest, most secret fears.
7. Explain how Montresor’s family
motto is related to the story? To the
actions of Montresor?
• The motto translates, “No one insults me
• This shows that Montresor cannot let an
insult be forgiven.
• He interprets it to allow/require him to kill
8. How does Montresor manipulate
Fortunato? What CHARACTER
TRAITS make Fortunato easy prey for
• Fortunato is really proud of his ability to
judge fine wines and is competitive with
others to show his skill. He also likes to
• Montresor appeals to Fortunato’s pride
w/the story of the cask, and uses Luchresi
to appeal to F’s competitive nature; he
also preys on F’s drunkenness
9. What is the setting? What details of
the setting contribute to the horror of
• Italy (p. 168 – mentions Italians; names
• During the carnival season (p. 168)
• Probably mid-1800s as the word
“millionaire” (p. 168) was coined around
• Horror: catacombs, nitre, midnight
10. Contrast the setting in the
beginning of the story with the setting
where Montresor takes Fortunato.
• The beginning is the craziness of carnival,
with costumes, colors, noise, parties; it is
dusk. p. 168
• The end is in the depth of Montresor’s
family crypt with darkness, bones, horror;
it is midnight. p. 171-172
11. Explain the MOOD of this story.
Give examples from the text to support
• Horrifying –
– Montresor toys with Fortunato,
• showing nitre p. 169,
• taunting about cough p. 170
• and trowel p. 171;
– Fortunato is unsteady and drunk when killed
– while Montresor is calculating and efficient p.
12. Who is the PROTAGONIST
of this story? Justify your answer.
• It is Montresor
• He is the one pursuing a goal, even if we
think it’s a negative goal
• The reader gets most insight into his
motives and thoughts.
13. Who is the ANTAGONIST of
this story? Defend your answer.
• It is Fortunato
• He is in conflict with Montresor (the
protagonist) because he has insulted
14. Who is the narrator of this story?
What kind of narrator is he?
• Montresor is the narrator
• First person limited (uses “I”; doesn’t give
• May be unreliable
– Doesn’t explain the “insult”
– Might have pangs of conscience
• P. 173 “My heart grew sick; it was the dampness of
• Why is he telling this story 50 years later? possibly
15. Explain a symbol in the story.
• The cask of Amontillado could symbolize
the wealth associated with a rare item,
which motivates both characters
• Montresor’s coat of arms could symbolize
his revenge against Fortunato’s insult
• Fortunato’s fool costume symbolizes his
foolishness and greed
15. Explain a symbol in the story.
• Carnival symbolizes a topsy turvy society
that allows such a murder
• The catacombs symbolize Montresor’s
personality, which is pleasant on the
outside, but filled with death and darkness.