The Cask of Amontillado
How we cite our quotes:
THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. (1)
It’s important to notice that Montresor wants revenge, not for his injuries, but for the insult. The word “ventured” is also interesting. It literally means “to undertake an action with knowledge that there is risk involved.” This quote suggests that Montresor thinks that Fortunato knew what he was risking, but chose to insult or betray him anyway.
A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. (1)
To “redress” is to “correct an error, or a fault, or an evil.” Montresor wants to correct the wrong he thinks Fortunato has done him. Montresor’s statement reflects the never-ending cycle that revenge and betrayal can become, unless the parties involved reach some sort of agreement, or one of them dies.
It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. (1)
This is similar to the manner in which people are supposed to be punished after they have been found guilty through the legal process. The punishment is supposed to be severe enough that the wrongdoer is deterred from committing the crime again. Montresor perverts this principle. He becomes judge, jury and executioner, all rolled into one.