Poe's Stories

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The antagonist of the narrator of "The Cask of Amontillado, who (according to the narrator) mysteriously wronged the narrator years earlier. A lover of vintage wines and carnival attire, Fortunato appears as an eccentric character, suited to the eccentric city of Venice. His fate is sealed when the narrator tells Fortunato that he has bought a special case of Amontillado, a legendary wine. Fortunato's bizarre hyperactive nature is shown in his obsession with the word Amontillado, which he repeats like a chant, but as the narrator gains his revenge by walling Fortunato up into a living tomb in the deepest vault of the narrator’s house, Fortunato's laughter becomes tragic, and then he falls silent.

Fortunato Quotes in Poe's Stories

The Poe's Stories quotes below are all either spoken by Fortunato or refer to Fortunato. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Poe's Stories published in 2006.
The Cask of Amontillado Quotes

I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

Related Characters: Narrator (The Cask of Amontillado) (speaker), Fortunato
Page Number: 208
Explanation and Analysis:

In the final story in the book, a narrator prepares to enact his revenge upon Fortunato. The narrator is obsessed with obtaining revenge upon those who humiliate him in some way (though we're never told how, exactly, Fortunato humiliated the narrator, making us wonder if the narrator is just a sadist or a madman). And yet the narrator also makes it clear that he doesn't want revenge to "overtake" him--he just wants to get even with Fortunato and then move on with his life. At the same time, he wants Fortunato to thoroughly realize that the narrator is taking revenge on him--no accidents or sudden deaths.

Revenge, in short, is a kind of balance between becoming too obsessed with getting even, and not being obsessed enough. It's odd that the narrator describes revenge as a form of moderation, since there's absolutely nothing moderate about the revenge that the narrator enacts upon Fortunato (he buries the poor guy alive).

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Fortunato Character Timeline in Poe's Stories

The timeline below shows where the character Fortunato appears in Poe's Stories. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Cask of Amontillado
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
The Power of Memory Theme Icon
The narrator of "Amontillado" begins by telling us about his friend, Fortunato, who had ‘injured’ him many times over the course of their friendship, but had now... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Fortunato was a wine connoisseur. For an Italian man, actual connoisseurship was rare – often it... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...the price of a special vintage and is now unsure of its authenticity. He compliments Fortunato on his knowledge and says he was silly to buy the wine without his advice.... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...worry, that he is going to visit another expert, Luchesi, and he can tell that Fortunato is busy. Fortunato scoffs at Luchesi’s knowledge and responds that he himself is not busy.... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
...the levels of the house, to the vaults below. As they walk toward the Amontillado, Fortunato begins to cough from the damp clinging to the walls. The narrator says they should... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
The narrator of "Amontillado" suggests they drink some Medoc to protect them from the elements. Fortunato proposes a toast to the buried remains that surround them in the vaults, and the... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
...bones and remains all around them, dripping with nitre. He suggests they take another drink. Fortunato empties the bottle and then lifts it in a strange symbolic gesture, which he explains... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
The narrator of "Amontillado"mentions Luchesi again, but Fortunato is determined to go ahead. He disappears with his torch into the recess and reaches... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
...there and he starts to build a wall blocking in the recess. As he goes, Fortunato begins to make sorrowful noises and the narrator knows that the man is no longer... (full context)
Rivals and Doppelgangers Theme Icon
The Dead and the Living Theme Icon
The Gothic Style Theme Icon
Self, Solitude, and Consciousness Theme Icon
...is just one brick to place, but as he begins to slide it into position, Fortunato emits a low laugh then speaks in a sad voice, complimenting the narrator on a... (full context)