The Cask of Amontillado

The Cask of Amontillado
Overview
Themes
Numbering
Montresor, the story's delightfully macabre narrator, plots to exact revenge against his friend Fortunato, who has wronged him. Exploiting Fortunato's fondness for Italian wine, Montresor lures the man—dressed in a Jester's costume for Carnival—into a dark, damp crypt by asking him to taste a rare wine: Amontillado. Drunk and sick with a cold, Fortunato never returns.
Revenge
Montresor embraces his family motto, "No one provokes me with impunity," by seeking revenge—with no remorse.
Folly of Pride
Fortunato's interest in proving himself as a wine connoisseur gets him killed.
Paradox
Montresor reacts to a slight with murder, while Fortunato—unaware of his fate—pretends a dire situation is a game.
1844
Year Poe read "A Man Built in a Wall," a story about workers who found a skeleton behind a IIIchurch wall in Italy—likely inspiring "The Cask of Amontillado"
50
Years after Fortunato's death Montresor relates "The Cask of Amontillado"
1
Story Poe wrote about tuberculosis after his wife was diagnosed with it: "The Masque of the Red Death"
2
Significant wine names offered to Fortunato: Medoc, believed to protect health, and De Grave, which means "of the grave"
Author
EDGAR ALLAN POE 1809-49
A master of psychological horror, Poe wrote short stories and poems revered—and feared—by millions of readers for nearly two centuries. Much of his work, like "The Cask of Amontillado" and his famous poem "The Raven," uses dark themes that toy with both the characters' and the readers' emotions.
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