The Cask of Amontillado (Poe)

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The Cask of Amontillado
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man sought revenge on another for an insult by luring him into catacombs under the pretense of verifying a wine's authenticity. He then chained and sealed him inside a niche, leaving him to die.
A man named Montresor sought revenge on his acquaintance, Fortunato, for an unspecified insult.

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.

Montresor — narrator; cunning, manipulative, and vengeful.
Fortunato — wine connoisseur; prideful, easily manipulated, and intoxicated.
Montresor devised a plan to lure Fortunato into his family's catacombs under the pretense of verifying the authenticity of a cask of Amontillado, a rare and valuable wine. Fortunato, a known wine connoisseur, eagerly agreed to accompany Montresor to his vaults during a carnival celebration.

Upon arriving at the catacombs, Montresor led Fortunato deeper into the underground chambers, passing through walls of human remains and damp, nitre-covered walls. Despite Fortunato's persistent cough, Montresor encouraged him to continue, offering him more wine along the way. Eventually, they reached a small, hidden recess in the catacombs.

Montresor quickly chained Fortunato to the granite wall and began to seal him inside the niche with bricks and mortar. As the intoxication wore off, Fortunato realized the gravity of his situation and pleaded for his release. Montresor, however, continued to build the wall, taunting Fortunato with his own cries for help.

For the love of God, Montressor!

Once the wall was nearly complete, Fortunato laughed nervously, suggesting that it was all a joke and that they would laugh about it later. Montresor agreed, but continued to seal the niche. Fortunato's final plea was for the love of God, to which Montresor echoed the sentiment but received no response. Montresor called out to Fortunato one last time, but only the jingling of his carnival bells answered.

Montresor finished sealing the niche and left Fortunato to die in the catacombs. For fifty years, no one disturbed the hidden tomb, and Montresor's revenge remained a secret. In pace requiescat!