Deceit in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is well-known for his mysterious and horrific short stories with several significant lessons. “The Cask of Amontillado” is one example of a strait plot based on revenge but touches upon different aspects of life, including friendship, trust, deceit, and envy. Despite the intention to create honest and intense interpersonal relationships, there is always some space for deception. People deceive for different reasons, including getting profits, hiding the truth, protecting one person, or punishing another. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” the two main characters, Fortunato and Montresor, face a case of deceit in specific ways. In this essay, attention will be paid to Montresor and his decision to deceive Fortunato to revenge for past injuries and gain some justice.

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From the very first lines of “The Cask of Amontillado,” a reader gets a chance to understand the true intentions of Montresor and be involved in a terrible plan to take Fortunato’s life. Poe introduces a perfect line of thoughts to make sure deceit can work. First, Montresor defines the interests of his victim and determines an excellent but mock will to ensnare Fortunato. The character shares his reasons for taking such a step and mentions multiple insults that serve as a basis for his deceit. However, as well as poor Fortunato, the reader is not able to define a final method of this revenge. Therefore, it turns out to be interesting and necessary to find out the end of the story.

The nature of deceit remains ambiguous during the short story. On the one hand, Montresor lies about the qualities of his enemy, tries to persuade not to follow him, and underlines how he appreciates an opportunity and time to share a moment with Fortunato. On the other hand, the same character stays cold and prudent in his desire to revenge and, as it turns out, to kill the man. The development of such events is used to explain that Montresor is successful in his attempt to punish his fellow. Being a noble and smart man, Fortunato cannot even guess how deceitful and angry his friend has been all the time.

The end of the story, when Fortunato is trapped by Montresor in the catacombs, shows how the deception works for the character. Montresor has been developing a plan of revenge for a certain period of time. He thought about the words to say, a cause to go, and a comparison to make and touch Fortunato’s pride. His deception is not only revenge but a good demonstration of his skills and readiness to take a human life because of a past insult. Although it seems that the chosen course of action works well for the character as it turns out to be a fulfillment of his goal, it is hard to predict an actual impact of such a lie and action in the future.

Some people may find “The Cask of Amontillado” as a story of one murder when terrible revenge takes place. It is also possible to understand that Poe’s work has deeper intentions and significant lessons. No one should neglect the fact that deceit is an inevitable part of human life. However, each person is free to develop particular attitudes towards lies and deceitful behaviors. In the chosen short story, Montresor is motivated by revenge and uses deceit as a means to fulfill his goal and make Fortunato suffer. Actual outcomes of such deceit remain unclear to the reader, but, at the moment, the character is satisfied with such an opportunity to do what he plans and defines deceit as a correct decision.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Deceit in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Poe." July 4, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Deceit in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Poe'. 4 July.

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