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The Cask of Amontillado

The Cask of Amontillado

by Edgar Allan Poe

Betrayal Theme

Betrayal drives the action in “The Cask of Amontillado." One character’s betrayal sets off a hideous chain of retribution, enacted below ground in a mass grave. Behind all this revenge and death, the story is about trust. Without trust there can be no betrayal. The story has much to do with the lengths human being will go to feel better when they feel betrayed – and the tragedy that comes when those lengths hit murderous extremes.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. Montresor doesn’t describe exactly how Fortunato betrayed him. Do you think this matters to the story? Is there anything Fortunato could have done to deserve that punishment?
  2. If Montresor was indeed betrayed by Fortunato, do you think this means he once trusted him? Do you have to trust someone before they can betray you?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Fortunato betrays himself by not paying enough attention to his surroundings.

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