, Research Paper
Pride Can Be a Fatal Trait
Sometimes a person?s pride can overshadow their good judgment, in turn effecting their actions. The result of this over zealous pride can mean death for the person. In Edgar Allen Poe?s ?The Cask of Amontillado?, Fortunato is a prime example. Through his own desire to show his skill as a wine connoisseur, he causes his own demise.
Fortunato?s pride becomes evident when he and Montresor first meet. When Fortunato learns of Montresor?s cask of Amontillado, he says ?Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry,? (pg 116) of the other connoisseur. He will not allow this other connoisseur to show him up. Fortunato had no reason to demean Luchesi except to keep his own pride intact. He continues throughout the story to demean the skills of Luchesi for the sole purpose of making himself look more skilled.
Fortunato?s good judgment is also clouded by the amount of alcohol he accepts from Montresor. ?A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.? ( pg 117) Montresor says to Fortunato who decides to stay in the damp and starts to drink because his pride will not let him leave. Montresor offers him one final chance to turn back. Once again Fortunato?s good judgment is overshadowed by his pride. He insists that he is fine, and furthermore, asks for more alcohol. ?I broke and reached him a flagon of De Grave. He emptied it at a breath.? (pg 118)
Although Montresor was planning to trap Fortunato once they were deep in the catacombs, he does not force him to go. In fact, several times during the story Montresor offers a way out for Fortunato but Fortunato?s pride wouldn?t allow him to give up. Several times it was Fortunato that urges Montresor to take him to the Amontillado pipe. When Montresor says ?My friend, no. I will not impose upon your good nature. I perceive you have an engagement,? (pg 117) Fortunato is quick to respond that he has no engagement. He his desperate to reach the casks and see if it really is Amontillado. Again, Montresor offers a way out. He says… ?Your health is precious..?, and ?We will go back; you will be ill…? (pg 118) Fortunato shrugs that off by saying, ?Enough! The cough is a mere nothing: it will not kill me. I shall not die of cough.? (pg 118) Even at the risk of his own well being, Fortunato still insists that he wants to see the Amontillado. Fortunato is given his last flight chance when Montresor suggests that the nitre has grown too thick for them to proceed. Still Fortunato turns down any plan to return to Montresor?s palazzo. He insists that they travel onward, in search the cask of Amontillado.
There are times when a person?s pride can overshadow their good judgment, in turn effecting their actions. The result of this over zealous pride can mean death for the person. In Edgar Allen Poe?s ?The Cask of Amontillado,? Fortunato is a prime example. His great desire to taste the Amontillado and pride from being better than Luchesi cause him to make some choices that he wouldn?t normally make. He falls right into the trap set by Montresor. So it ends that Montresor kills Fortunato by wielding against him his own pride.