Montresor (right)

Montresor is a sadistic character and the main protagonist in Edgar Allen Poe's short story The Cask of Amontillado.


There is not much known about Montresor's past. One could tell that he was brought up in a wealthy family from his aristocratic bearing, his family crest, and knowledge of fine wines and high culture. He also mentions that he had a great and numerous family. It is hinted at that Montresor may have squandered his family's wealth buying this wine, as he mentions he tends to buy it in large quantities.

When his friend Fortunato insults him, Montresor swears revenge. He approaches a drunk Fortunato during Carnival and offers to show him a bottle of fine Amontillado he had bought for a low price. Eager to see it, Fortunato goes with Montresor to the latter's catacombs. Montresor toys with Fortunato, offering him several opportunities to turn back, but Fortunato does not listen, being thoroughly intoxicated. Once in the deep underground catacombs, Montresor leads Fortunato to a nearby cave and overpowers him, chaining him to a wall and starting to build a brick wall to seal him up. Fortunato at first thinks it is a joke, but upon sobering up begins to fear his friend. He tries to laugh it off as a joke and entreats Montresor to let him go, but Montresor does not listen, instead mimicking his pleas and mocking him in an extremely contemptuous manner, at one point pausing simply so he can enjoy listening to Fortunato's pleas before he finishes the encasing and turns to leave. Terrified, Fortunato screams, "For the love of God, Montresor!", and Montresor coldly replies, "Yes, for the love of God." then places the last brick in, sealing Fortunato’s fate.

As he is about to leave, Montresor feels a tremble of remorse, however, he ignores this completely, writing off the sickness of his heart as being because of the dampness of the catacombs and calls out Fortunato's name, but he hears nothing in reply except for the faint jingling of the bells on Fortunato's cap. He then leaves Fortunato to die. At the end of the story, he reflects that no one has disturbed Fortunato's final resting place for 50 years before saying rest in peace in Latin.


  • Montresor never specified what Fortunato's insult was, which heavily calls into question his exact motive and if Montresor walled a happy and successful married man alive for no good reason.
  • It is possible Montresor's motive stems from class conflict, with Montresor resenting Fortunato's wealth and success while his house lost prestige, however, it is very possible that the lose is actually Montresor's own fault.