Fortunato followed me deeper in the catacombs, his mood growing merrier the deeper we went. He wrapped his arm around my neck, pulling me closer. “Montresor, I must admit it has been a long while since I’ve tasted Amontillado, but the taste is something I remember as clear as the day. I have tried to get my hands on it but to no avail, yet here you are with a pipe no less! To think if you had found Luchresi first I would have lost this opportunity. Lady Luck has smiled down on me!” He proclaimed, patting my chest. I could not help but chuckle.
“Fortunato you get ahead of yourself, we do not know if the pipe is really Amontillado. I did not check first, but how could I know?”
“Nonsense Montresor, I have faith. Tonight we shall drink until we can no longer lift our glasses!” He laughed loudly. To me it seemed that he was far from his goal. I could already tell that he, like many others had spent most of the night drinking; in fact I could smell the alcohol on him. We walked for only a while longer before we came upon a door.
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“It’s in here”
“Then let us not waste time”, he motioned for me to open the door. I nodded my head. The door had a rusted padlock on it. I pulled the key from my pocket and unlocked it. The lock was incredibly old, so I had to pull quite hard before it popped open. Twisting the doorknob I pushed the door open wincing as it creaked. As we entered the dark room I lit the torches on the wall, bringing light to the room. “Here it is,” I pointed to the pipe of Amontillado.
“Ha-ha! Amontillado! Amazing Montresor,” He embraced me tightly. “You haven’t tasted it yet.” I laughed, taking a step away. I walked over to the pipe of Amontillado, where two wine glasses sat on the top. I grabbed one of the glasses and poured the Amontillado.
“Thank you for joining me down here. I think it only fair that you have the first taste.” I handed him the glass.
“To Amontillado”, he raised his glass. “To Amontillado”, I agreed. He drank all the wine it one go. “Montresor, I can confirm with confidence that you have not been duped. You indeed-” He didn’t finish his sentence. His face turned red as he began coughing uncontrollably. His eyes began to bulge as he started to scratch at his throat. “Mon-tre-sor”, He gasped for air, falling to ground. Fortunato's body began to convulse as he desperately reached toward me. I kicked his hand away.
“Nemo me impune lacessit.”(pg. 118 line 59) I left him withering in pain. Before leaving, I turned around. His body was shaking and foam formed in his mouth. “I hope you enjoyed the Amontillado Fortunado.” I shut the door behind me and put the padlock back. He was there for half a century no one ever found him.
The original ending for the Cask of Amontillado Montresor chains Fortunato to a wall before enclosing him inside another wall. Fortunato hopes that Montresor is joking, he laughs saying that it was a good joke and that they laugh at over their wine. Even though he clearly sees what is happening he still holds on to the idea that he will receive the Amontillado that he was promised. On the other hand, I ended the story with Fortunato receiving the Amontillado he was promised, but dying right after. The end of the story is already ironic because Montresor keeps telling Fortunato to turn around because he fears for his health, yet in the end it was all a part of his plan to kill him. With my ending the story is even more ironic, because it the Amontillado that Fortunato wanted so much that ends his life. Out of everything that could have killed him like his cough (pg. 118 lines 34) it was the thing he wanted most that ended his life.
Poe’s style of ending the story was full of twisted irony, dark themes and symbolism. The fact that Montresor took Fortunato into the catacombs which in a way is the land of the dead during Carnival, which is a celebration of life showed his evil intention. “Their descent underground was Fortunato’s descent to hell.” Even the idea that Fortunato who was very much alive was left in a place full of death showcases Poe’s use of irony. Even though Fortunato dies in both the original story and mine the way he dies in Poe’s story invokes a more chilling feel than mine.
My ending is indeterminate because in the end Montresor got the revenge he craved. Fortunato insulted Montresor to the point where he felt it necessary to murder him. That would make it a happy ending if Fortunato’s situation wasn’t so pitiable. Throughout the story he was given every opportunity to walk away but chose to continue, in hopes that he would taste the esteemed Amontillado. In my ending he eventually did, but it was his lust for the wine that ended his life. It is because of these facts that the story is neither a happy one nor sad one.
- Mays, Kelly J. The Norton Introduction to Literature. W.W. Norton & Company, 2017.
- “Poe's Short Stories Summary.” SparkNotes, SparkNotes, www.sparknotes.com/lit/poestories/section11/.
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