The most famous critic of psychoanalysis is Sigmund Freud who developed the original theory of the unconscious mind

The most famous critic of psychoanalysis is Sigmund Freud who developed the original theory of the unconscious mind, the desires of a person or character, and a defense which together developed the tripart division of the mind into the “ego,” “id,” and “superego”. These features of Freud’s theory are all essential to the analysis of the main character in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”. Montresor made a choice to box in a living person as an act of revenge; using a cask of amontillado as a lure to get his friend down into the vaults where his own family lay. However, since there are very few aspects of Montresor’s family lineage and his upbringing, many parts of the theory are difficult to conclude.
The ego is dominated by one’s conscious self and reality. Yet, when reality is disturbed and a person’s since of the world becomes divided, they tend to create a false reality or go into a stage of paranoia, which can lead to other issues. Terry Eagleton informs, “Paronoia’ refers to a more or less systematized state if delusion under which Freud includes not only delusions of persecution but delusional jealousy and delusions of ‘grandeur” ( Eagleton 159). This would mean that because of the wrong Fortunato did to Montresor, his sense of broken reality causes him to create this plot to lead Fortunato to the vaults. Going off this theory, since a wrong was done to Montresor and his family, he does a wrong in return without noticing how wrong it even was. This allowed him to make Fortunato, a friend, into an enemy that he could hate so much it enabled him to change his own sense of reality.
“Freud attributes the development of the superego to the parental influence that manifests itself in terms of punishment for what society considers to be bad behavior and reward for what society considers good behavior” (Guerin, et al. 122). Since Montresor seems to be the only person living at his home, he may not have anyone around to remind him what is good from bad, especially if he is orphaned. However, assuming this is an assumption since there isn’t any background information about it. Perhaps all the privileges he had growing up in prosperity distracted his parents from properly teaching him right from wrong. As is, throughout the story, a reader can infer his family lineage is ‘new money’ and he has servants to accommodate his needs.
The id is dominated by desires, which is what drove Montresor to kill Fortunato. Even though he gave Fortunato chances to escape, he was actually goading him with the amontillado and faking their friendship. From the very first sentence Montresor announces, “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge” (Poe 260). This immediately sets the tone of a mad man. Determined, Montresor states, “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity” (Poe 260), which clearly shows the anger and the vengeance Montresor feels towards Fortunato. Montresor’s character has become insane by the insults of Fortunato and thus plots to get rid of Fortunato once and for all without actually doing anything to him. Each time Montresor pretends to care about the Fortunato’s health and his cough, he becomes more and more ecstatic inside that Fortunato refuses to turn back. Then when he actually begins to block him in he takes great pleasure in his death.
Because the id is the primitive unconscious and the source of our sexual drive, perhaps Montresor was using Fortunato as revenge on his own father as a practice of the Oedipus Complex. This could be the reason why this revenge unfolds in front of all of his dead family lineage. However, more knowledge on Montresor’s upbringing would make it easier to accurately conclude these psychological motivations. Montresor used his shared traits and shared history to keep Fortunato at bay until the very end and also using a false sense of security to lure his prey down to the vaults. There’s no sure way of knowing whether Fortunato would have been missed by any other person and the only people that would have been able to shed some light on the truth about Montresor would have been buried within the deep recesses of the vault for a long time. The psychoanalysis of Montresor’s character can best be summarized in one of Freud’s own slogans: ‘Where id was, there shall ego be’ (Eagleton 139).

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