The Cask of Amontillado

This study guide will help you analyze the text “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, literary devices, symbols, themes and perspectives.

Presentation of the text

Title: “The Cask of Amontillado”
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Published in: Godey's Lady's Book (magazine)
Date of Publication: 1846
Genre: Short Story

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American Romantic writer of shorts stories and poems, as well as a literary critic. His writing style falls into the category of Dark Romanticism, often presenting dark, macabre events, usually ending up with murder. “The Cask of Amontillado” is said to have been inspired by a legend the author heard when he was in Massachusetts about two lieutenants fighting in a duel resulting in the death of one of them. However, other soldiers took revenge on the victor of the duel, Gustavus Drane, by getting him drunk and walling him. The legend is, nonetheless, only an urban myth.

Excerpt

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Themes

“The Cask of Amontillado” is a story about betrayal and revenge. The narrator feels betrayed and offended by the other character – Fortunato – who had allegedly badmouthed his name behind his back. In his turn, Montresor betrays Fortunato by tricking him into a death trap so he could take revenge.

Exploring this theme in the short story becomes possible through the motif of pride. Both characters are proud – Montresor of his name, Fortunato of his wine knowledge. Their pride leads them in the story. 

 

 

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The Cask of Amontillado

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