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The Cask of Amontillado by Smrithe Rajesh

The narrator in “The Cask of Amontillado” states, “I promised myself that I would make him pay for this-that I would have revenge”(Poe 68). Throughout the story, he tells about how he murdered a man named Fortunato because of the injustices that he had brought to the narrator. He shows several signs of psychopathic nature that makes the reader unsurprised that he killed Fortunato in the first place. The narrator in “The Cask of Amontillado” is a psychopath because he lacks empathy, is manipulative, and narcissistic.


First, the narrator is a psychopath because he lacks empathy. According to experts, one of the traits of a psychopath is a lack of empathy (Healthy Place). Montresor lacks empathy in various different parts of the story. For instance, he says,” “I continued to smile on his face, and he did not understand that I was not smiling at the thought of what I planned for him, at the thought of my revenge” (68). He smiles and feels elated thinking about killing a man instead of feeling any remorse. He also states, “ I continued working” (72). Even when hearing the screams of the man he was burying, he never looked back. The narrator clearly is not someone who is mentally stable.

Additionally, the narrator is a psychopath lunatic because he is manipulative. Psychologists state that psychopaths tend to show signs of being manipulative and untrustworthy (Healthy Place). The narrator lies and is dishonest throughout the entire text. For example, he says,” “Go in; the Amontillado is in there” (Poe 71). He lies to Fortunato about having the expensive wine needed for test tasting. In another part of the text, he states, “ But he had one great weakness: he liked to drink good wine, and indeed he drank much of it” (68). Montresor uses Fortunato’s weaknesses to his benefit. He deceives his way to reach his goal.

Finally, the narrator is a maniac because he is narcissistic. According to experts, psychopaths are often narcissistic (Healthy Place). Montresor often boasts and talks about himself. In one case, he says, ,``''I, too, knew old wines well, and I bought the best I could find” (Poe 69). When admiring others, he tends to talk about how he is also such a great individual, and it makes him very cocky. He also states, “But then I learned that he had laughed at my, Montresor, the name of an old and honored family” (68). The main motive behind him killing a man is because the victim made fun of his name. The narrator is very arrogant and cold hearted.

Therefore, the narrator of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Cask of the Amontillado” is a psychopath because he lacks empathy, is manipulative, and narcissistic. Montresor is a psychopath and has all the signs to prove it. Though he explains his reason for murdering Fortunato, it only confirms the facts of him being mentally ill. With his cocky and cold demeanor, he would seem as someone not to trust. He is a true murderer.



Smrithe Rajesh (she/her) is a 15 year old rising Sophomore currently residing in the United States. Her work has appeared multiple times in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and she has had her work published in the Incandescent Studio and other notable publications. She enjoys reading and eating ice cream in her free time.

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