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“The Cask of Amontillado”. Edgar Allan Poe Analysis. Plot & The Elements of Plot. Plot = [very simply] sequence of events Exposition / Introduction : [usually] provides setting, characters, basic situation

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the cask of amontillado

“The Cask of Amontillado”

Edgar Allan Poe


plot the elements of plot
Plot & The Elements of Plot
  • Plot = [very simply] sequence of events
    • Exposition / Introduction : [usually] provides setting, characters, basic situation
    • Inciting incident / Central conflict: the problem that will be addressed [positively or negatively] through the development of the plot
    • Rising action: the various events / experiences that move the story forward
    • Climax: the point of greatest literary interest. It is the turning point of the story. Once this point has been achieved there is no going back and changing the outcome
    • Falling action: the events that follow the climax
    • Denoument / Resolution: the final part of a narrative where questions are answered and loose ends are handled
  • Setting: time, place, environment that serves as the location for the events of the story. It is possible for the setting to serve as part of the conflict [man vs. nature].
character characterization
Character & Characterization
  • Character: [usually] a person portrayed in a novel, short story, drama, etc.
  • Characterization: the way in which a writer makes a person in a text (book, film, etc.)seem like a real person.
    • Direct Characterization: when the author tells the reader what to think
    • Indirect Characterization: the reader must infer traits based on
      • Actions
      • Words (what is said / how it is said)
      • Appearance
      • The character’s thoughts
      • The thoughts and feelings regarding the character

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled—but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

contents of a paragraph
Contents of a Paragraph
  • Topic sentence: subject, what will be proven regarding the subject, how it will be proven.
  • Evidence in the form of specific quotation(s) form the text.
    • Provide a lead-in to locate the quote within the context of the story
    • Provide a page citation (in-text parenthetical OR as part of the lead-in) whenever possible
  • Explanation of the evidence: how, why, what about the evidence PROVES the topic sentence to be true.
  • Concluding sentence:
sample character ization
Sample Character(ization) ¶

Based on the opening paragraph of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor is characterized as calculating using his thoughts and words. As Montresor discusses his plans for revenge on Fortunato, he focuses on both the purpose and the outcome; “‘I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser’” (1). His repeated use of the word “punish” in the first sentence and the various ideas focusing on his personal gain or satisfaction, such as “redress” and “retribution” in the second sentence, all demonstrate Montresor’s fixation on seeing Fortunato pay for his indiscretion. Furthermore, Montresor’s plan must ensure his own safety; there can be no risk of harm to himself. He indicates his careful planning when he states his intent to “punish with impunity” as well as the second comment of the need for “retribution” to not “overtake” him. From the start of the story, Montresor shows that he is careful and focused in his desire to do harm.

now you
Now You--
  • Analyze Montresor’s character (using a personality trait) based on the passage provided.
  • This should be a complete paragraph following the content and format discussed.
point of view
Point of View
  • Point of view: the vantage point from which the story is told [narrative technique / narrator]
    • Usually 1st person, 3rd person, or 3rd person omniscient
    • May call into question the reliability of the narrator
  • Theme is “. . .what the story is about when you leave the story out.” Dr. Tommy Boley
  • In other words, it is a universal truth about the way people behave in a given situation.
    • It is NOT a restatement of a plot point within the story
    • It is NOT just a one or two word concept, subject, or motif [which is another literary term we will cover]
    • It MUST be written as a complete thought (sentence)