Pride is known as the greatest sin of man because it was pride which led to the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

Pride is known as the greatest sin of man because it was pride which led to the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In the short story ” The Amontillado Cask ” by Edgar Allan Poe, pride is one of the deadly seven sins consistently apparent throughout the piece. Fortunato was insulted by Montresor, and his pride led him to seek revenge. He plays cleverly upon the pride of Fortunato and leads him to his death with the promise to taste an inexistent Amontillado cask. Poe communicates through these characters and their actions, his theme that pride leads to a man’s downfall.
The power of pride is clearly seen in Montresor ‘s character. Montresor ‘s pride in his family name is so excessive that “When Fortunato ventured upon insult, Montresor vowed revenge.” He refuses to let himself be slighted since he would seem lesser. As a result, Montresor plans his vengeance carefully. His desire to punish Fortunato is directly related to his family motto, “‘Nemo me impune lacessit,'” which means “No one dare attack me with impunity” His ancestors felt that they were above criticism, and due to their pride, they felt any attack should be met with more force than originally used against them. Therefore, Montresor cannot turn the other cheek. He feels it is his duty to crush any “serpent” that would dare attack his honorable name. This belief leads him to his moral demise as he plans and carries out the murder of Fortunato.
The pride of Fortunato leads him into the trap that Montresor lays so cleverly for him. Montresor knows that Fortunato
has a weak point. Fortunato prided himself on his wine knowledge. Interestingly, Montresor recognizes Fortunato’s pride as a weakness even though he sees his own as a strength. Being the crafty man he is, Montresor preys upon this shortcoming by creating a nonexistent cask of Amontillado that Fortunato will be sure to do anything to taste. To further ensure this, Montresor goes even one step further and draws on the pride of Fortunato by saying he plans to have Luchesi taste the wine. “If anyone has a critical turn, it is he.” Fortunato cannot accept that anyone is better than him at wine tasting, so he lashes out at both Montresor and Luchesi by saying, “You have been imposed upon; and as for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado.” Fortunato’s pride is so grand that he does not take note of the effect his insults have on Montresor. He believes that he can say and do anything because of his perceived superior abilities.
Montresor still continues to play with the intense pride of Fortunato, while still leading him to his death. Montresor offers to turn back with Fortunato several times because of the dampness of the catacombs and his coughs, but Fortunato insists. He refuses to admit to any physical weakness that may inhibit his ability to taste-test the Amontillado. Fortunato also wanted to demonstrate that Montresor was taken advantage of; so that he could further stoke his own pride and ego. Expecting Fortunato to not turn back due to his overgrown sense of pride, Montresor lead him deeper still; all the way to the crypt he plans to bury Fortunato alive. “‘Proceed,’ …’herein is the Amontillado.” Prompted Montresor. The reason these two men have found themselves in such a setting is simple, their pride had driven the duo towards this fate. The pride of Montresor causes him to commit murder without considering the immorality of the deed, and Fortunato ‘s pride blinds him to the effects of his insults and the intentions of his murderer.
Thus, Poe’s theme that pride leads to man’s fall can be clearly seen through Montresor and Fortunato ‘s actions. Both men suffer from their intense pride and are thus ruined. Even after fifty years, Montresor is so prideful that he continues to boast of his perfect crime. He never saw how pride was the sin that led him to commit the immoral and evil act. Poe suggests that man can easily be led astray by pride through both Montresor and Fortunato and that this can lead to spiritual and physical ruin. Pride is obviously a weakness with which man has had to contend since the time of the Garden of Eden, and since we are all prey to its sting, we must always be on guard against this most deadly sin.