In the Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe conveys the idea that revenge is wrong, as it only causes suffering.
Montresor believes that in order to get revenge on Fortunato, he must cause Fortunato to suffer. He believes that pain and suffering will make Fortunato realize that making fun of his family name was wrong. This shows that Montresor is a vengeful person, and will do anything to make Fortunato “pay” for his wrongdoings rather than make him realize that what he did was wrong.
“I must not suffer as a result of taking my revenge. A wrong is not made right in that manner. And also the wrong would not be made right unless Fortunato knew that he was paying and knew who was forcing him to pay” (68).
"Montresor! For the love of God!!"
"Yes. For the love of God!"
As the story continues, Montresor explains “I hurried to force the last stone into its position. And I put the old bones again in a pile against the wall. For half a century now no human hand has touched them. May he rest in peace!” (72). Montresor’s way of getting revenge on Fortunato was to bury him in stones, which resulted in Fortunato’s death. This has only caused suffering for Fortunato.
Montresor has taken insults from Fortunato many times, but wants to get revenge on Fortunato after he insulted his family name. Montresor decides to use Fortunato’s interest in wine as a way to get revenge on him.
Montresor successfully gets revenge on Fortunato, but his “heart grows sick” once he realizes that Fortunato is dead, which could suggest that Montresor is feeling regretful for a moment, as what he did only resulted in Fortunato’s death. This helps support the theme because what Montresor did only resulted in Fortunato dying, as well as for Montresor to regret his decisions after.
“Fortunato!’ I cried. ‘Fortunato.’ I heard only a soft, low sound, a half-cry of fear. My heart grew sick; it must have been the cold.” (72).