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The Cask of Amontillado. By Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849. American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement.

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the cask of amontillado

The Cask of Amontillado

By Edgar Allan Poe

edgar allan poe january 19 1809 october 7 1849
Edgar Allan PoeJanuary 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849
  • American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement.
  • Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre.
  • He is further credited with contributing

to the emerging genre of science fiction.

  • He was the first well-known American

writer to try to earn a living through

writing alone, resulting in a financially

difficult life and career.

poe s innovative and unusual use of words
  • Words are frequently used for the way they sound, as well as for their meanings.
  • Poe's rhythm and internal rhyme becomes almost hypnotic in many poems.
            • The difficult vocabulary reflects the

style of Poe's time period.

Every important word is intended to evoke a mood or atmosphere in the reader, and Poe aimed for the same effect regardless of whether the work was prose or poetry.

poe s ability to instill fear in the reader
Poe's ability to instill fear in the reader
  • Poe builds suspense throughout the stories, revealing some facts while withholding others.
  • The narration is frequently first

person, which makes the reader's

connection to the story more intimate.

  • Poe's descriptions are usually

Minutely detailed to give a sense of

reality to the stories, despite their

supernatural atmosphere.

other ways that poe instills fear
Other ways that poe instills fear
  • The use of irony and black humor is common.
  • Gothic elements are usually prominent in his writing: the supernatural, evil animals, and dark, gloomy settings
  • Poe's depictions of how the human mind works heighten a reader's connection to the story.
  • The surprise endings provide a reason to go back through the work to look for clues missed on the first reading.
the cask of amontillado1
The Cask of Amontillado
  • The story is set in a nameless Italian city in an unspecified year and concerns the deadly revenge taken by the narrator on a friend whom he claims has insulted him. Like several of Poe's storiesthe narrative revolves around a person being buried alive
  • As in "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-Tale Heart", Poe conveys the story through the murderer's perspective.
  • First published in the November 1846 issue of Godey's Lady's Book.
possible inspiration
Possible Inspiration

A legend holds that the inspiration for "The Cask

of Amontillado" came from a story Poe had heard

at Castle Island in Massachusetts when he was a

private there in 1827. According to this legend,

Poe was told the story of alieutenant named

Drane who killed another officer,named Massie,

by burying him alive.

a more likely though far less terrifying inspiration
A more likely, though far less terrifying inspiration
  • Poe wrote his taleas a response to his personal rival Thomas Dunn English.
  • Poe and English had several confrontations, usually revolving around literary caricatures of one another.
  • One of English's writings went a bit too far, and Poe successfully sued his editors at The New York Mirror for libel in 1846.
  • That year English published a revenge-based novel called 1844, or, The Power of the S.F.
  • It included a character named Marmaduke Hammerhead, the famous author of "The Black Crow", who uses phrases like "Nevermore" and "lost Lenore", referring to Poe's poem "The Raven".
  • In this parody, Poe was depicted as a drunkard, liar, and domestic abuser.