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Discussion Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. Why do you think Montresor tells his audience this story? Can you trust the Montresor as the narrator? Why or why not? Consider the moments when Montresor addresses his audience.
Ans: The reason why Montresor tells his audience this story is because he wants to confess the terrible act of murder that he committed against Fortunato.
He is telling the story to confess to the priest about the murder he committed. He can’t be trusted as the narrator because his opinion of Fortunato is biased.
All throughout the story, his opinion about Fortunato is apparently biased; hence, we cannot fully comprehend what really happened between them. We, as the viewer, will never know the truth based on his story.
Q.2. At first, Fortunato hesitates to follow Montresor into the vaults. Why do you think Poe included this detail?
Ans: Poe, the writer included this detail was included to show how bad Fortunato’s lungs were. It was dangerous for him to be breathing in the bad air.
Poe provides this detail to emphasize Fortunato’s weakened lungs. From the story itself, the foul air in the tombs is harmful for him to breathe. One might imagine that once Montresor has surrounded him, he will be coughing and suffering horribly, with no one to hear or help him.
Q.3. Fortunato is dressed as a fool. He is also very concerned about the Amontillado and doesn’t want Montresor to call upon Luchesi’s expertise. What is the significance of these details? Explain your answer.
Ans: Fortunato was so foolish to outsmart Luchresi that he didn’t suspect why Montressor was taking him to the catacombs. Poe created these characters with powerful feelings to the point where they don’t notice obvious things.
Because of this, Montressor didn’t see a peaceful way to solve his problems with Fortunato and Fortunato didn’t realize he was in a dangerous situation.
Q.4. Montresor claims to be concerned for Fortunato’s health. Why might Montresor do this? Explain your answer.
Ans: Montresor claims to be concerned for Fortunato’s health because he wants to create a false sense of trust and friendship. By pretending to care about Fortunato’s well-being, Montresor is able to deceive him and make him believe that they have a genuine relationship.
This is important for Montresor’s plan to kill Fortunato, as it allows him to get close to him without raising suspicion. By appearing concerned for Fortunato’s health, Montresor is able to manipulate him and ultimately carry out his sinister intentions.
Q.5. In the context of this story, was Montresor’s revenge justified? Is revenge ever justified? When? Cite evidence from this text, your own experience, and other literature, art, or history in your answer.
Ans: Personally, I don’t think revenge is ever justified. It is usually an irrational emotional response to something and is almost always unnecessary.
They also mention that revenge causes damages that are not needed and can be avoided. This explanation is based on the person’s personal opinion and their understanding of the negative consequences of revenge.
Q.6. Based on his essay “Of Revenge,” would Sir Francis Bacon agree with Montresor that “a wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong” (Paragraph 1)? Explain why or why he would not agree and what he might say in response to Montresor.
Ans: Sir Francis Bacon would likely agree with Montresor’s statement that “a wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser” because Bacon’s main focus in his essay “Of Revenge” is that revenge is wrong. Montresor’s statement aligns with Bacon’s belief that seeking revenge only perpetuates a cycle of harm and does not truly resolve the initial wrong.
Montresor emphasizes that it is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make themselves felt as such to the wrongdoer, which echoes Bacon’s argument that revenge should not be taken to the extreme of causing the same pain to the wrongdoer. In response to Montresor, Bacon might advise him to be cautious and consider the consequences of his actions, as revenge can lead to further harm and negative outcomes.
Assessment Questions & Answers
Following are our answers based on the questions provided:
Q.1. Which of the following sayings best describes a theme of the text?
Ans: The desire for revenge can be all-consuming.
Q.2. How does the description of the Montresor coat of arms and motto in paragraphs 46-49 contribute to the reader’s understanding of Montresor’s character?
Ans: It helps the reader understand Montresor’s pride, as well as how he responds to insults.
Q.3. What does the following line suggest about the narrator’s point of view?” My heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so.” (Paragraph 89)
Ans: The statement suggests emotional turmoil or a moment of remorse.
Q.4. How do carnival traditions add to the mood of the story?
Ans: The wild parties, masks, and hidden faces create a mood of secrecy and unease.
Q.5. How does the characterization of Fortunato affect the plot of the story?
Ans: Fortunato’s pride drives him to prove he is a better judge of wine than Luchresi.
Q.6. How does the setting of “The Cask of Amontillado” affect the impact of the story as a whole?
Ans: The story is set largely in catacombs underneath Montresor’s home in Italy. The setting contributes significantly to the horror of the story. It is dark, cold, and damp in the catacombs. Because catacombs are burial vaults, Montresor and Fortunato pass by piles of bones, the remains of dead bodies.
The setting impacts the plot by the use of morbid imagery and tone as well as the demeanor of the characters. The mood of the story is one of impending doom and suspense. The setting impacts the mood with the dark imagery and morbid symbolism used throughout.
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In CommonLit, “THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO” is one of the students’ favorite lessons written by Edgar Allan Poe for grade 11 students.
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