From the beginning of “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor is envious of Fortunato’s affluence as a result of the deprivation of his family 's wealth. After Montresor had plotted his revenge on Fortunato, he subtly gave verbal clues about his past life. However, Fortunato neglected to realize the importance of these hints. Montresor once said, “...I didn’t differ from him materially; I was skillful in the Italian Vintages myself, and bought largely when I could” (Poe 160). The narrator uses the past tense in his conversation to provide insight that at one time, Montresor had wealth in his family like Fortunato. Readers are exposed to the jealousy of Montresor’s past prosperity when he brought Fortunato down into the “catacombs of the Montresors” (Poe 162), to carry out his ideas of murder. The catacombs that belong to the Montresor family, exhibits that Montresor had a large, powerful family at one time. Montresor mentioned his place in the society comparing himself to Fortunato: “You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as I once was...
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... of a century” after he sealed him in, “no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!” (Poe 166), Montresor feels no regret about killing Fortunato. In Fact, he feels pride that he got away from it. Montresor is delighted by the impunity of killing Fortunato that he feels the need to tell someone of his brilliance.
Over the time Montresor spent with Fortunato, he became aware of the rage he felt for the prosperous. Montresor was envious of Fortunato for having wealth, not just the memory of his own and feeling wronged when he is insulted for it. This made Montresor feel inadequate about his status, making him need to feel power again: a need so encased with jealousy that he ended never feeling remorse or hesitation in killing Fortunato, just power like he always wanted. Consequently, Montresor’s jealousy of the aristocracy leads him to murder Fortunato.
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