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The Cask of Amontillado (1846) by Edgar Allan Poe page 60.

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Presentation on theme: "The Cask of Amontillado (1846) by Edgar Allan Poe page 60."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Cask of Amontillado (1846) by Edgar Allan Poe page 60

2 Edgar Allan Poe 1809-1849 American Author The writer, not the narrator, of the story. Developed characters whose sanity is questionable. Known as a significant contributor to the development of the short story as a literary genre.

3 “…but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” “The Cask of Amontillado” is the narrator’s account of his ability to carry out a chilling plot of revenge against his offender.

4 Vocabulary Amontillado – (n) a pale, dry sherry (wine) impunity – (n) freedom from consequences retribution – (n) payback; punishment for a misdeed accosted – (v) greeted, in an especially aggressive way

5 Precision in time, place, and setting allow the narrator both the retribution he seeks and the impunity he demands.

6 Setting Mid 1800s Italy Carnival Season (before Lent)

7 Carnival & Lent Carnival is a secular holiday, but it evolved from the Christian observance known as Lent. Lent is a solemn forty-day period of fasting prior to Easter. Traditionally, the fasting during Lent involves abstaining from eating meat. Modern interpretations of fasting may involve abstaining from anything one enjoys.

8 Carn + Val FLESH (Meat) + FAREWELL In anticipation of the solemnity of Lent, the celebration of Carnival evolved. Participants engage in excessive and extreme behavior to bid farewell to meat-eating (and merriment). Carnival is a time of EXCESS and INDULGENCE. BINGEING upon food and alcohol is common

9 Partying in the streets and masquerading are enjoyed.


11 The combination of alcohol and costumes creates an atmosphere where people tend to let down their self- consciousness.. “The Cask of Amontillado” is set during the “supreme madness” of Carnival. In such a uncontrolled atmosphere, it is easy to see how a crime could go unnoticed..

12 Mardi Gras European Carnival traditions survive in the United States in the form of Mardi Gras.

13 Lifestyles of the Rich Circa 1700-1800

14 The wealthy class enjoyed indulgences such as Jewelry Expensive clothing Fine dining Lavish décor Art - painting

15 Palazzos (mansions)

16 Fine Wine (vintages)

17 Vineyards, where the grapes for producing wine are grown, create picturesque settings for owners’ estates.

18 The narrator plans for his revenge to take place in the catacombs beneath his estate. What are catacombs?

19 At a certain point in European history, catacombs, underground burial chambers, became a viable alternative to cemeteries.

20 Catacombs are characterized by extensive tunnels leading to chambers or recesses where the dead repose for eternity.

21 The wealthy could opt for family catacombs beneath their estates.

22  The narrator of “The Cask of Amontillado” carries out his revenge within the catacombs beneath his palazzo.  The narrator is able to lure his victim into the catacombs with the promise of Amontillado, a fine sherry wine.

23 The Storage of Wine The “supreme madness” of Carnival aside, why doesn’t the suggestion of a journey to the catacombs for a taste of wine seem odd or suspicious to the victim?

24 For wines to maintain their best quality, they need to be stored at fairly cool and constant temperatures.

25 modern electric refrigeration was not available… –To protect wine collections, connoisseurs adopted the practice of storing wines under the ground where temperatures remain ideal year-round. –Basements, cellars, and even catacombs serve as excellent storage facilities for the precious vintages.


27 Herein, where wine bottles intermingle with the bones of the dead, the narrator carries out his plan for revenge.



30 Discussion (with your partner) Narrator? With whom does Montresor have a conflict? Why does Fortunato go into the vaults? What can you predict from: “At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled…”? According to M, what has F done to him? (include page #) Why does M tell his servants NOT to leave his house? Mood of Poe’s story? Which passage reveals that F is drunk? (include page #)

31 Narrator? –Montresor With whom does Montresor have a conflict? –Fortunato What does Fortunato go into the vaults? –To prove his expertise as a wine connoisseur What can you predict from: “At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled…” (Poe 61)? –Montresor will get his revenge on Fortunato According to M, what has F done to him? (include page #) –Fortunato has insulted him (Poe 61 ). Why does M tell his servants NOT to leave his house? –He gives the “explicit order not to stir from the house” because he wants them to leave– he know that they will do the opposite Which passage reveals that F is drunk? (include page #) –“He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication” (Poe 63). Mood of Poe’s story? –suspenseful

32 Exposition:  Italy, mid 1800s, Carnival Season  Montresor (wealthy, vengeful, clever, sinister) and Fortunato (wine connoisseur, naïve and egotistical)  Fortunato is oblivious to the fact that Montresor views him as an enemy. Conflict: Montresor seeks revenge on Fortunato for inflicting a final insult upon him. Rising Action:  Fortunato is intoxicated and not fully aware of his surroundings  Montresor claims that he has purchased a cask of wine and Fortunato has doubts about it being Amontillado  Montresor invites Fortunato to his catacombs to taste his wine  niter, cough, Mason, code of arms Climax:  Montresor chains Fortunato to the wall of the niche and Fortunato screams for mercy… Falling Action:  Montresor builds a stone wall and traps Fortunato inside…  Montresor thrusts his torch into the crypt and hears only the jingling of the bells on Fortunato’s cap (costume)…  Montresor replaces the pile of bones to cover the crypt’s entrance Resolution:  Fortunato is left for dead—to “Rest in Peace”—  Montresor confessing to something that he did over 50 years ago… PLOT DIAGRAM Title of Story: “The Cask of Amontillado” Author: Edgar Allan Poe

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