The Punishment must fit the crime.
In "The Cask of Amontillado", Montresor, pontificates that the punishment must fit the crime as demonstrated in his family motto, "No one assails me without impunity." Montresor wholly interprets the insult of Fortunato as a mortal crime; therefore Fortunato must pay with his life-no other punishment would be satisfactory. To the reader, this may seem overly harsh, but can only imagine effects of this insult on Montresor. While this punishment may have fit the crime, nonetheless, punishments have evolved over time and this story demonstrates there is a need to separate the accuser from the one who judges the crime.
"The thousands injures of Fortunato I had borne as I best could" (Poe 173). Montresor, the central narrator of this story, tells us, Fortunato had over time constantly and repeatedly caused some type of harm to him. While we do not know the exact harm that was caused we are left to assume that the some of the injustices may have been small and able to bear.
However Fortunato takes it one step to far: "but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge" (173). While we still cannot know the exact crime that Fortunate committed, we have to understand that it must have been some grave act. This act was so heinous in nature that Montresor deemed this a mortal crime, at least in his mind, and demanded the life of Fortunato as repayment for his wrong doing. What could Fortunato have done to cause such pain in Montresor? While the story never spells it out directly we do have some more insight into the narrators mind,
We will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a...