Amontillado Thesis

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The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe is considered by some critics to be a deathbed confession of a successful revenge (Jacoby, 1). The protagonist Montresor does indeed successfully kill his enemy Fortunato. However, Jay Jacoby in the article “Fortunato’s Premature Demise in ‘The Cask of Amontillado’” claims that Montresor’s attempt at revenge was a failure. In his thesis, Jacoby argues that “Montresor posits two conditions for revenge,” (Jacoby, 4) one of which was not met. Referencing several supporting sources in his notes, as well as language taken from the story, Jacoby produces a convincing argument for his thesis. Jacoby introduces his thesis by explaining Montresor’s own requirements for revenge. He quotes Montresor: “I…show more content…
Jacoby argues that Fortunato is not aware of why he has been entombed so Montresor’s revenge was unsuccessful (Jacoby, 11). Fortunato dies too soon to realize he reason for his fate (Jacoby, 26) Jacoby quotes Dorothy Foote in arguing this point. Foote tells us that “because Fortunato never received ‘an expressed or implied bill of redressment,’ he dies without fully comprehending Montresor’s motives, thus leaving the second condition for revenge unfulfilled” (Jacoby, 13) While agreeing this Foote, Jacoby feels her explanation is “insightful but incomplete” (Jacoby, 14). When discussing the scene where Montresor thrusts a torch into the tomb in response to Fortunato’s silence, Jacoby attributes “Montresor’s growing impatience for a reply in the above scene: his plan for revenge requires that his victim be conscious” (Jacoby, 38) Jacoby gives a nod to Fossum’s explanation for Montresor’s “heartsickness” as guilt. However, he quickly tosses it aside in favor of his own thesis. Jacoby surmises that Montresor’s feelings are of “disappointment as his carefully planned drama of revenge aborts at the untimely end of its main character (and, until fifty years later, its only audience) who dies still unaware of Montresor’s motives” (Jacoby,
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