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Montresor’s Trial Case

The Prosecuting Attorney’s Closing Argument

Your Honor, the case presented to the court today is one of paramount malice and sadism. It is obvious that the defendant has planned the cold-blooded murder of the plaintiff conscientiously and thoughtfully. Firstly, Mr. Montresor exploited the victim’s proneness to enjoy high-quality alcoholic beverages. The defendant knew that Mr. Fortunato “prided himself upon his connoisseurship of wine” (Poe, 2017, p. 785). Then, by guile and trickery, the defendant lured the plaintiff to follow him to the vault, where everything was already prepared for the murder.

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Secondly, there are aggravating circumstances to the case since Mr. Montresor had planned the evening of the murder. He had told his servants that he would be absent and ordered them to stay in the mansion. Such orders, as Mr. Montresor himself mentioned, “were sufficient… to ensure their [attendants’] immediate disappearance” (Poe, 2017, p. 786). By making such an arrangement, the defendant did not leave the victim an opportunity to call out for help once the latter realized he was in a trap.

Thirdly, and this is also an aggravating fact, the defendant had all the materials for his merciless deed prepared in the vault. Mr. Montresor directed Mr. Fortunato into a corner where the latter turned out to be “arrested by the rock” (Poe, 2017, p. 789). Further, the defendant “soon uncovered a quantity of building stone and mortar” (Poe, 2017, p. 789). Hence, the defendant is believed to have committed a planned murder. The highest measure of punishment is thereupon requested for him.

The Defense Attorney’s Closing Argument

Your Honor, there is indeed evidence against my client, but there are also some facts that have not been mentioned in the prosecuting attorney’s speech, which can serve as an excuse for my client’s actions. Firstly, and most importantly, the defendant’s actions could be justified by his desire to defend his good name and honor. Mr. Montresor mentioned that he had suffered from a “thousand injuries” of the plaintiff, but he could not stand it any longer when Mr. Fortunato “ventured upon insult” (Poe, 2017, p. 785). Being a man of honor, Mr. Montresor could not accept disrespect for his family’s good name.

Secondly, it is necessary to point out that the defendant had warned the plaintiff about the risk of getting cold in the vault. Knowing about Mr. Fortunato’s declining health, Mr. Montresor said that his apprehensions concerned “the severe cold with which I perceive you are afflicted” (Poe, 2017, p. 786). The defendant remarked that the plaintiff’s health was “precious,” and that Mr. Fortunato was “rich, respected, admired, beloved” (Poe, 2017, p. 787). Still, the plaintiff’s greed for good spirits made him continue going deeper in the vault. Taking into consideration these facts, it is requested not to impose severe punishment on the defendant. It is obvious that the plaintiff had numerous opportunities to return home, let alone the possibility of not following Mr. Montresor at all that evening.

The Jury’s Final Verdict

The court has listened to both sides of the argument and has noticed that they have not come to an agreement. Therefore, conclusions will be made based on the defendant’s confession and available evidence. The murder was planned and performed in cold blood, which requires a high degree of punishment. Since the defendant arranged everything by himself and had no partners in crime, the highest measure of punishment cannot be selected for him. However, taking into account the careful planning and merciless carrying out of his plan, the court sentences Mr. Montresor to thirty years in jail. The defendant shall not have the right to appeal the decision.


Poe, E. A. (2017). The cask of amontillado. In R. S. Levine (Ed.), The Norton anthology of American literature (9th ed.) (Vol. 1) (pp. 785-790). W. W. Norton & Company.

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