Uploaded by Laren Claire Dalumpines


Laren Claire H. Dalumpines
BSED – English 3
Literary Criticism
The Cask of Amontillado
By Edgar Allan Poe
In "The Cask of Amontillado," the narrator, Montresor, claims to have a barrel of
wine in order for his victim, Fortunato, to be enticed to view it housed in a catacomb
where he will be buried alive as a form of retaliation for insulting the former. As a
result, the reader is left with a terrifying impression. Insofar as readers picture a
horrific experience, the entire atmosphere of terror generates delight in their minds: "It
is beautiful and it is the stuff of nightmares" (Neil Gaiman, 2011).
As a result, it's a tale of deception and vengeance. Furthermore, Poe
purposefully constructs a stunning ending for "The Cask of Amontillado," which is
seen in the mood of claustrophobia that is sparked by the victim being confined in a
tomb that the victimizer gradually covers with stones. This is a horrific event that will
not be quickly forgotten, and it might be compared to Alfred Hitchcock's horrifying films
that have left an indelible impression.
The Idea of Revenge
Montresor, the narrator of this short but disturbing story, sets in motion a
bizarre and brutal revenge dream against his sworn enemy, Fortunato, who believes
they are friends. Poe explicitly signals that revenge will be the focus of this short story
which can be observed in the opening line, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had
revenge.” Montresor’s thought of vengeance becomes more prominent in the next
paragraphs as he discusses how he plans on revenge. Poe makes the character talk
to the readers as if the readers know him so well. Additionally, Montresor in this sense
states that his revenge should not make him suffer nor regret it. For he is clouded with
his principle and pride upon claiming false actions that Fortunato made against him.
This whole idea centers on the intention of Honor Revenge, to let the doer be aware of
his ill-fated actions and to punish him to restore his honor.
Montresor's zeal for vengeance is notable in several ways. The first is that it is
extremely potent and all-consuming which is evident in the following lines: “It must be
understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my
goodwill. I continued, as was my in to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that
my to smile now was at the thought of his immolation.” He plots ahead, first deceiving
Fortunato, then murdering him. Montresor's deed is the polar opposite of a crime of
passion, which is part of what makes this story so mesmerizing. Moreover, the idea
that retribution is a Montresor family heritage is almost as startling as his commitment
and calculation. It's so important to them as a family that it's the theme of their coat of
arms and the message of their motto. “I must not only punish but punish with impunity.
A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally
unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done
the wrong.” Thus, Montresor greatly abides with the principles that uphold great
retribution, leading him to enthuse a plot of murdering Fortunato.
However, as to how atrocious Montresor’s action may seem to be in
fathomable sense, Edgar Allan Poe implicitly suggests that revenge is permissible if it
is administered against those who have caused harm to others. Poe backs up his
claim by narrating the story of Fortunato, a man who was buried alive as a result of his
hubris and mistreatment of his so-called friend, Montresor. The author's goal is to
propose that vengeance can be exacted on those who have committed heinous acts
to restore fairness and equality. Montresor never thinks of himself as an evil person as
he notes, ”You, who so well know the nature of my soul”. Montresor appears to be a
kind man who has been subjected to Fortunato's insults for a long time. However, he
can no longer tolerate the harassment because his patience has run out. When he
reached his limit, he is empowered and entitled to revenge without fear of punishment
since he has the noble goal of restoring justice.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of Poe's short stories is that they
contain an element of ambiguity, which is a desirable aspect of literature since it
allows for the suggestion of specific meanings concerning the story in question. The
heart of Fortunato's insult is not shown in The Cask of Amontillado, because the
reader is just informed that Montresor has been insulted by Fortunato. As a result,
Fortunato's insult to Montresor may be so serious that it prompts the latter to murder
the former. This is another explanation for Montresor’s strange behavior towards
The Folly of Pride
This short story also highlights one of the characteristics that can afflict man,
namely pride. Montresor's pride has been insulted by Fortunato, and this pride has
prompted the latter to act against the former, making pride the source of hate and
retribution. In this story, the theme of pride is centered on the idea that it leads to
man's demise. Montresor cannot take the thought that he has been humiliated by
Fortunato, who has reduced him to mediocre, and so he devises a plot to avenge his
pride. He is adamant about offending Fortunato. "Nemo me impune lacessit," he says,
which translates to "No one dares assault me with impunity". Montresor believes that it
is his job to clarify Fortunato's wrongdoing against his family. Montresor's pride is the
source of his moral degeneration. Furthermore, one should not overlook the reality
that pride, too, has damaged Fortunato. Montresor makes use of this quality, which he
shares with Fortunato because he recognizes that he has a weak point, cited in the
line, “He had a weak point --this Fortunato --although in other regards he was a man
to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine.”
As a result, one may argue that Fortunato's flaw is his pride, which has led him into
the trap of Montresor, the tomb where he would be buried alive. As a result, pride is
driving the two men, Fortunato and Montresor, to their bodily and moral demise,
Montresor's plan is made possible by the steps he takes to achieve deception;
he can convince Fortunato that there is something vital to him – the cask of the
amontillado – which does not exist so that he can carry out his terrible plan of killing
Fortunato. Due to the carnival's theme, Montresor and Fortunato are both dressed
strangely. On a strategic level, Montresor's disguise helps him carry out his intentions
to surreptitiously transport Fortunato to his final destination.
When considering the principle of measure for measure, it is important to
observe that Fortunato did not deserve the punishment meted out by Montresor.
Killing him is incomparable to the arrogance with which he formerly treated Montresor.
In other words, Fortunato had not attempted to kill Montresor, whose response to kill
him is only justified if he is regarded as an abnormal person who has planned
abnormal yet unequal retaliation for his adversary, Fortunato. It appears that
Fortunato's arrogance is met with an unequal vengeance, which could indicate that
Montresor is a savage individual who can symbolize man's barbarism in real life.
Delaney substantiates this point of view when he asserts that revenge is not always
the same as the harm it seeks to avenge, especially if the act of retribution is murder
(Delaney, 2008).
The moral lessons and ramifications of the short story The Cask of
Amontillado are numerous. The story's most important moral lesson is that one should
not harm others to avoid being damaged by them. This moral principle appears to
pervade the entire plot and is the driving force behind the action. It means that people
should pay close attention to their behavior as well as how they treat others. In a
nutshell, when speaking with or dealing with acquaintances, one should be as
courteous as possible. The fact that people in real life should be cautious about how
they behave in the company of others, whoever they may be, what they say, and how
they act in front of them, can be interpreted as a general moral lesson. The
importance of careful and detailed texts and addresses cannot be overstated. An
unintentionally offending speech, event, word, or even a look may be misinterpreted
by others, causing irreparable damage to intimate relationships among friends and
relatives. People should keep in mind that others are just as vulnerable as they are
and that they should treat others as they would like to be treated. People are prone to
remembering the injuries that have been inflicted on them.
Gothic fiction is known for instilling terror and horror in both characters and
readers, with the overarching goal of convincing readers that there is something to fear
in this world. This type of fiction instills fear in the reader's imagination, which is then
transformed into ecstasy through suspense and curiosity.
In the depth of the story, anxiety and terror are heightened by Montresor's
accusation that Fortunato had caused him a thousand bruises and insults, as in Poe’s
other Gothic short stories. To add to the horror, Montresor's face is hidden with black
silk, and Fortunato's carnival season turns homicidal. Because it is closely tied to the
senses of jails, graves, and corpses, as well as the sensation of frightfulness, the story
looks to cause extreme aversion and revulsion. Furthermore, the murderer is effective
in exacting vengeance and flees with his horrible action.
Poe cleverly adds a sense of suspense and thrills to the readers as he lures
the readers into the deep catacombs using foreshadowing and imagery. He succeeds
in creating a visual effect of the setting and taps the emotions of the readers through
the use of aesthetic elements that makes the story thrive.
1. Characters
There are four characters mentioned in the story. Montresor is the narrator – a
complex and intriguing character whose desire for revenge drives the story. He claims
that Fortunato has insulted and injured him without mentioning any specifics.
Montresor can be described as a cold, manipulative, and relentless narrator. Fortunato
on the other hand first appears in the story wearing a costume like a motley which can
be seen in this line, ”It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of
the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive
warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley.” Specifically, these are
clothes that a jester or a fool would wear. These two factors define Fortunato’s role in
the story. Fortunato’s drunken ego, excessive greed, and competitiveness clouds his
judgment, and thinks that he is Montresor’s friend resulting in him lending his trust.
Luchresi is a wine expert mentioned by Montresor who does not appear in the story.
This is what Montresor repeatedly mentioned to Fortunato pretending that he is on his
way to ask about the value of the Amontillado – it’s a lie. Montresor’s motive about
Luchresi is only to goad Fortunato into his death. The servants Montresor has
mentioned also did not appear in the story. He eventually has no high opinion of their
work ethic of honesty as he ordered them not to leave the house only to expect they
would leave as soon his back is turned to join the carnival festivities.
2. Symbols and Paradox
The Cask of Amontillado, like most Edgar Allan Poe stories, is full of literary
devices, including themes of revenge, pride's folly, symbols and paradox. Motifs and
important characters like dampness, Montresor, Fortunato, liquor, and masquerade all
contribute to Poe's psychological horror.
2.1 The Carnival
The carnival is one of the first symbols that appears in his short story.
Carnivals are large-scale events that are seen as lively and entertaining. When
we consider the carnival in this light, we might conclude that it symbolizes life
and vitality. At the beginning of the story, both Montresor and Fortunato are
taking part in the carnival, which is a literal celebration of freedom.The carnival's
energy and vibrancy have been successfully juxtaposed with the catacombs, a
symbol of evil and death in this story. This makes sense because Fortunato was
kidnapped from the carnival and murdered in the catacombs by Montresor.
Additionally, in this line “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. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate
disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.” It signifies the
wise decision of Montresor that carnival will be the perfect time to execute his
plan as people will never notice and be occupied in the merriness of the
carnival. With the supreme madness in the carnaval, it also equates to the
supreme madness of Montresor’s mind.
Fortunato's jester attire is another key motif in The Cask of Amontillado.
Fortunato's folly is symbolized by this attire, which features a "conical cap and
bells." According to Montresor, Fortunato has repeatedly insulted his
subterranean cemetery despite the insults.
2.2 The Amontillado
This type of Spanish sherry is the motivation of each characters to their
fate and actions. To simplify the terms in the title, it would be “The Barrel of
Sherry”. Cask is eventually synonymous to barrel which is used to store large
amount of liquids, and this is what Fortunato has been desperately looking for
only to end up finding his own casket of death. The amontillado in this sense
serves as the pleasure and enjoyment to Fortunato but ironically it will also be
his road to death. For Montresor on the hand, he took advantage of Fortunato’s
desire for amontillado and uses it as his power to get revenge and lure
Fortunato to his despicable plan.
2.3 The Coat of Arms
The Montresor family has both the coat of arms is an emblem which
indicates the family’s social status and nobility. The coat of arms, is described in
the line, "A huge human foot d'Or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent
rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel." A golden foot emphasizes the
family’s status and self-perception. This belief is extreme self-importance and
must be respected and served. Crushing the snake stresses how revenge centers
in their family.
The family motto of Montresor is Nemo me impune lacessit, which is also
the motto of Scotland's royal arms. The motto of the Scottish royal Stuart dynasty,
the chivalrous Scottish Order of the Thistle, and various Scottish regiments was
Nemo me impune lacessit, which means "no one attacks or injures me with
impunity." Throughout history, Scotland has fought against Roman and English
occupation. According to some historians, the slogan was inspired by the Roman
emperor Julius Caesar, who was assassinated by Senate members more for his
possible deeds or threat to democracy than for anything he had done. Fortunato's
crimes against Montresor, like Caesar's, are unknown.
2.4 The Trowel
This bricklaying tool evokes the Masons. The Masons were a large
fraternal organization that began as a medieval guild (for stonemasons) but
evolved into a more comprehensive social organization. Anti-Masonic prejudice
has a long history, and numerous legends have circulated about it being a secret
society, even a magical one. In 1826, these feelings became so strong that the
Anti-Masonic Party became a political party in the United States (Britannica.com).
The irony is that while Fortunato's hand gesture indicates that he is a member of
the organization, Montresor's trowel indicates that he is (or will behave as) a
physical mason. Fortunato, on the other hand, misreads this as a jest and misses
the indication that he will be entombed alive.
2.5 The Vault
Montresor takes Fortunato through a veritable death zone as he leads him
to the vault where he claims to be storing the Amontillado. The Montresor family
crypt is where members of the Montresor family are interred. In this catacomb,
there is an actual heap of bones. While it is possible to preserve wine in a crypt
because the physical circumstances are comparable, it is unlikely that wine
purchased recently would be put thus far back in this catacomb.
Vault is an art of architecture form which in ancient times, the
Pantheon and the Colosseum, both in Rome, were built with this technology,
allowing the Romans to construct such magnificent structures. Normally, vaults
are rooms or chambers used for storage. However in the story, it is seen as the
graveyard of Fortunato, and his fate is unknowingly stored and sealed in the
darkness of the vault forever.
3. Foreshadowing
Poe made sure to use foreshadowing to augment the curiosity of the
readers. This makes readers create their assumptions and predictions. Thus,
making them interact more with the story. During their journey in the depths of
the palace, foreshadowing seems to appear in their conversation which is
manifested in these lines, "Enough," he said; "the cough's a mere nothing; it will
not kill me. I shall not die of a cough." "True --true," I replied; "and, indeed, I had
no intention of alarming you unnecessarily --but you should use all proper
caution. A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps. Here I knocked
off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row of its fellows that lay upon
the mould. Montresor in this sense intentionally feds Fortunato a Medoc to scale
up his stupor and lose awareness of his horrible fate. Meanwhile, Fortunato
belittles his cough and deprecates his illness, making Montresor agree. This
foreshadows the fate of Fortunato as Montresor knows he will not die with the
illness, but from dehydration and dehydration in the crypt.
Another line that foreshadows Fortunato’s fate is, "A sign," he said, "a
sign." "It is this," I answered, producing from beneath the folds of my roquelaire
a trowel. "You jest," he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces. The mason – which
Fortunato believed was a symbol of an organization, was just an accessory that
would aid Montresor in executing his plan. Turns out, it would be used to build
cement in burying Fortunato alive. These foreshadowings draw the reader
deeper and deeper into the horror of the conclusion.
4. Setting
Although not mentioned , the setting of the story takes place somewhere in
Italy; an underground catacomb, during the carnival season. Poe uses several visual
imagery to creatively describe where the story takes place delineating its underlying
horror and mystery. From the way Poe playfully organizes words, it can be deciphered
that the story happened a hundred years ago. The story appears to take place in the
eighteenth or nineteenth century, based on Montresor's short cape and rapier, the
slightly formal speech, and the torches used to illuminate the men's route.
Moreover, because the location and period of the story are only loosely hinted
at, the setting of "The Cask of Amontillado" has gotten a lot of attention from critics.
Poe freely blends parts of many nations and civilizations to provide a touch of the
strange to his gloomy environment. Fortunato and Luchresi are both Italians who are
well-versed in Italian wines. Montresor is a Frenchman, as Benton (2009) have
effectively established. Amontillado is a wine from Spain. There are references to
Montresor's palazzo, roquelaire, rapier, and flambeaux strewn throughout the Latin
motto and other Latin phrases.
In The Cask of Amontillado, Poe's entire tone is frightening and gloomy. To
generate a sense of unease in the audience, he employs irony and unsettling comedy.
The names themselves present a verbal irony. Fortunato means fortune, but unlucky
met his death by Montresor whose name means teasure. He arouses the readers'
emotions in an attempt to connect them to the characters' sensations, and as a result,
the readers are encouraged to sympathize in the sense that the aesthetic elements is
stimulated through imagination. Poe stipulates ominuosity and makes sure that
readers will feel the suspense as the characters journeys towards the end of the
extensive vault. The success makes the readers greatly hook up with the story and
thinks about it over time.
All About Poe: BIOGRAPHY
Edgar Allan Poe’s life story is fascinating, and it has sparked a lot of
discussions, rumors, and intrigue. For example, he's said to have died from a rabid
dog bite, but he was most likely killed by drug and alcohol-related complications. He
was a heavy drinker who also had a laudanum addiction. Furthermore, he was known
as the Father of Detective Story and a pioneer of the American short story. Poe's life
may have been brief, but his work has endured. Poe was a poet, literary critic,
essayist, short story writer, and novelist, but he is best remembered today for his
macabre and terrifying writings. The Gothic genre, which is marked by a sense of fear,
doubt, and misery, encompasses the majority of Poe's writings. In the 18th and 19th
centuries, Gothic horror was extremely popular, and Poe's writing would make him
one of the most well-known authors in the genre. To further understand the story, its
existence, and its connection to the author, it is important to study Poe’s life to have a
background of the birth of his famous short story.
Poe was taken in by John and Frances Allan (who were not biological related)
when he was orphaned just a year after his birth in 1809. Poe and Frances Allan
battled frequently, typically over money, and Poe lived in poverty for the rest of his life
especially after he was left out of John Allan's will. Poe attempted to attend college but
was unable to afford it, so he dropped out. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise,
as it launched Poe's writing career.
According to Columbia Encyclopedia, after he got a job for many years, Poe
was fired from his work in Richmond, allegedly due to excessive drinking, and
relocated to New York City. Drinking would be the scourge of his existence. He
needed a modest stimulant to speak well in a large group, but a glass of sherry might
send him on a binge; and, while he was rarely inebriated, he was frequently seen in
public when he was. This led to speculation that Poe was a drug addict, but medical
testimony revealed that he had a brain lesion.
Subsequently, Poe enlisted in the army in 1827 because he was penniless. He
had a falling out with his aristocratic foster father, dropped out of the University of
Virginia, and boarded a coal ship for Boston, where he was born. For two months, he
worked as a clerk and a newspaper reporter. He was desperate by May 26, 1827, and
enrolled as a common soldier for five years. He presented his name as Edgar Perry
and stated that he was 22 years old, even though he was only 18 years old. Perhaps
to avoid gambling debts, or perhaps because he lacked his father's consent to enroll if
he was only 18 years old (Victorgrigars, updated 2022). While serving on Castle Island
– the place where he was deployed, he learned about a fabled duel that occurred
outside the fort on Christmas Day in 1817. Robert F. Massie and Gustavus Drane, two
lieutenants, had gotten into a fight over a card game. In the duel, Drane, who no one
liked, killed the popular Massie. The occurrence of this legend was spread and
Massie's friends were so enraged that they got Drane drunk and locked him up in a
vault within the fort.
After so many years, Virginia Poe – his wife – died in January 1847. He
traveled to Providence, Rhode Island, the next year to court poet Sarah Helen
Whitman. A brief engagement took place. Poe had platonic relationships with Annie
Richmond and Sarah Anna Lewis, both of whom aided him financially. He wrote lyrical
eulogies for each of them. In 1849, he traveled south, had a wild night in Philadelphia,
but made it safely to Richmond, where he married Elmira Royster and spent a lovely
summer with just a few relapses. He had the company of childhood friends and an
unromantic acquaintance with Susan Archer Talley, a young poet. When Poe
departed Richmond for Baltimore late in September, he had some death
apprehensions. He died there, however it was unclear whether he died of alcoholism,
heart disease, or other reasons in the twenty-first century. He was laid to rest in
Baltimore's Westminster Presbyterian Churchyard.
BIRTH: The Cask of Amontillado
One of Poe's most renowned short stories, "The Cask of Amontillado," was first
published in 1846 in Godey's Lady Book, the most popular magazine in the United
States at the time. Poe, in his works of fiction, reveals a more understanding of the
mind. Although critics have long recognized Poe's interest in the mind, particularly its
dysfunctions, as well as his use of psychological terms and ideas derived from
nineteenth-century texts, Zimmerman (2020) breaks new ground by demonstrating
how closely Poe's characterizations of mental reality correspond to descriptions found
in specialist literature that he could have read. Those fictional renderings exhibit the
verisimilar goals of Poe, a writer who went to great lengths to accurately reflect the
inner lives of characters while depending on the medical discourses at his disposal.
The interesting thing is that many of Poe's portrayals are still credible, even though
modern psychological theories were unknown to him.
This suspenseful short story depicts several types of wine and demonstrates
the richness of Poe's nature through the characters. Some critics have suggested that
the Amontillado cask can be interpreted as an allegory of two pictures of Poe.
On the other hand, The Cask of Amontillado was known to be written from his
inspiration of the legend about the duel of Massie and Drane mentioned in the
paragraph above. However, Drane during that time was promoted to captain and died
in 1846, according to military records. Although the legend was not true, Edgar Allan
Poe preserved it. In the fiction with an undefined year, he set the story in an unnamed
Italian city. A wine cellar owner seeks vengeance for the murder of a relative. He
suspects a friend did the crime. As a result, he brings his pal down the cellar to sample
the wine. The friend becomes increasingly inebriated until they reach the final cask the Amontillado cask — at which point the friend collapses due to drunkenness. The
proprietor then encases him in a recess in the wall and abandons him to his fate.
LIAISON: Characters and Poe
Both the narrator and the victim in the story have a thorough understanding of
Poe's psychology. For example, Montresor's character easily portrays Poe's darker
ambitions, whilst Fortunato's character shows a sense of hopelessness and
helplessness. DiSanza (2014) stated that while Poe is definitely not Montresor and
Montresor is clearly not Poe, it is worth noting that Poe appears to have produced a
craftsman who is nearly equal to him but whose ideals are diametrically opposite to his
own in Montresor. In other sense, Poe suffered several Oedipus complex throughout
his life. Poe's mother died of tuberculosis while he was a child, and his father died of
alcoholism. Poe was adopted into John Allen’s family. Going back to his life’s story,
Poe and his adoptive father had a lot of disagreements about his gambling and
alcoholism, which could explain why he didn't get along with his father. Furthermore,
while attending school in Richmond, Poe was often excluded from the activities his
contemporaries engaged in as a result of his mother being an actress with small
income. This left Poe feeling alienated and hence related extremely well to “The Cask
of Amontillado.” The fact that Montresor killed Fortunato as a result of an affront to his
family heritage could be interpreted as him trying to put the subject to rest, just like Poe
is trying to do.
Furthermore, Poe's connection to the character Fortunato can be explained by
the large number of losses he had as a youngster, most notably with significant female
figures in his life. Poe developed a sort of loneliness paranoid after the deaths of his
mother, foster mother, and multiple brides. As a result, it's only natural that Fortunato
works as a shadow projection, projecting Poe's innermost thoughts of hopelessness
and abandonment. This is demonstrated by Montresor's decision to place Fortunato in
a vault on the far side.
Final Thought
It's no surprise that this short story is one of his best works of literature
because it displays so much of his pain and self-pity. All of the characters are
burdened with a plethora of psychological notions and ironic undertones. Because
Montresor has Id, he is more likely than the average person to succumb to his own
desires and temptations, no matter how irrational they be. By applying psychological
analysis we as Poe’s audience, are able to grasp the relationship that manifested
between himself and the characters. Furthermore, by reading this story, we can gain a
better understanding of Poe, as well as the environment and era in which he lived.
Montresor’s Insanity
In the short story of Edgar Allan Poe’s ”The Cask of Amontillado”, Montresor
takes his friend Fortunato to his home's underground layer, where his family members
are buried, to show him a cask of what he claims is valuable amontillado wine;
however, Montresor's ulterior motive is to lure Fortunato to the underground
catacombs and bury him alive as a form of vengeance. The amontillado is used by
Montresor to entice Fortunato to his death, and Fortunato insists on being the superior
wine drinker, which the amontillado would provide. When this big barrel of wine
intrigues Fortunato, he agrees and follows Montresor into the lower floor of the house,
eventually walking to his death. Poe portrays Montresor as stuck in Freud's anal stage
of development throughout this short story and the men's excursion through the
catacombs. In Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, fixations in anal stage tends to become
more a
It may be claimed that he lacks control over his unconscious impulses and
hence projects them onto Fortunato. Montresor demonstrates his preoccupation in the
anal stage of development by wielding power and control over Fortunato and
manipulating him to commit suicide. Since Montresor tells this narrative as a
confession, he is retelling it as a method to gloat about the power and authority he has
over someone else.