Introductory ¶ should: The Power of Pride Pride is known as man’s greatest sin since it was pride that • begin with an attention-getter led to Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden. It is also • name the author and novel title the sin of Montresor and Fortunato in Edgar Allan Poe’s short • briefly summarize the plot and mention theme idea story “The Cask of Amontillado.” Montresor has been insulted • present your thesis statement-include how the theme will be traced in the body by Fortunato, and his pride leads him to seek revenge. He cleverly plays upon Fortunato’s pride and leads him to his death with the promise of tasting a nonexistent cask of Amontillado. Through these characters and their actions, Poe communicates his theme that pride leads to a man’s downfall. The power of pride is clearly seen in the character of Montresor. His pride in his family name is so great that “When [Fortunato] ventured upon insult, [Montresor] vowed revenge” (309). He cannot let himself be put down because he would appear to be weak and inferior, so he plans his revenge carefully. His desire to punish Fortunato is related to Each body ¶ should: • State a claim (topic sentence) in support of your thesis statement • Elaborate on claim by introducing characters, describing a situation, and/or character actions, etc. in detail • Provide at least one direct quote in support of your claim • Follow up direct quote with an interpretation and/or explanation to thesis • conclude with a final idea or transition to the next ¶ his family motto, “’Nemo me impune lacessit,’” which means “No one dare attack me with impunity” (312). Obviously his ancestors felt that they were above reproach, and their pride made them feel that any attack should be met with even greater force. That is why Montresor cannot turn the other cheek; he feels it is his duty to crush any “serpent” (312) who would dare to attack his honorable name. This belief leads him to his moral downfall as he plans and executes the murder of Fortunato. Fortunato's pride leads him into the trap that Montresor so cleverly lays for him. Montresor knows that Fortunato has “a weak point….He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine” (309). Interestingly, Montresor sees Fortunato’s pride as a weakness (he sees his own as a strength), and like the clever man he is, Montresor preys upon this point, creating a nonexistent cask of Amontillado that he knows Fortunato will do anything to taste. To insure that, Montresor goes even one step further and teases Fortunato’s pride by saying that he plans to have Luchesi taste the wine because “if anyone has a critical turn, it is he” (310). Fortunato’s pride cannot accept that anyone is better at wine tasting than he is, so he insults both Montresor and Luchesi by saying, “You have been imposed upon; and as for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado” (311). So great is Fortunato’s pride that he does not see the effect his insults have upon MLA Citation Guidelines: • • Use quotation marks to enclose a direct quote. Include page number in parenthesis immediately following a direct quote—notice punctuation. • Use brackets to indicate changes to original text in a direct quote. • Use an ellipses (a series of three periods) to indicate text omissions in a direct quote. • Refer to your Writer’s Survival Guide for additional help. Montresor; he believe that he can say and do anything because of his superior skills. Little does he know that his pride is leading him into Montresor’s trap. Montresor continues to play with Fortunato’s intense pride as he leads him to his death. Several times Montresor offers to turn back with Fortunato because of his cough and the dampness of the catacombs but Fortunato insists, “’Let us go on’” (313). He cannot admit to any physical weakness that would interfere with his ability to taste-test the Amontillado. He must also prove that Montresor was taken advantage of; that would make him feel even more superior. Knowing that Fortunato will not turn back because of his pride, Montresor leads him to the crypt where he plans to bury him alive, saying, “’Proceed,’ …’herein is the Amontillado” (314). The pride of both men leads them to this terrible moment. Montresor’s pride causes him to commit murder without thinking for a moment about its immorality, and Fortunato’s pride blinds him to the effects of his insults and to his murderer’s intentions. His pride leads him like a lamb to the slaughter. And so, Poe’s theme that pride leads to the downfall of man can be clearly seen through the actions of Montresor Concluding ¶ should: • restate thesis statement • highlight key ideas in support of your thesis • explain the theme’s universal significance to everyone’s life • end with a final thought or memorable idea and Fortunato. Both men are flawed by their intense pride and so are led to ruin by it. In fact, Montresor’s pride is still so great that after fifty years he is bragging about his perfect crime. He cannot see how pride led him to an evil and immoral act. Through both Montresor and Fortunato, Poe is suggesting that man can easily be led astray by pride, and that can lead to spiritual and physical ruin. Obviously pride is a weakness that man has had to contend with since the time of the Garden of Eden, and since we are all prey to its sting, we must always be on guard against this deadliest of sins.