“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe. Cultural Literacy and Background for Understanding. “…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.
Background for Understanding
“…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.
Precision in time, place, and setting preclude the idea of risk and allow the narrator both the retribution he seeks and the impunity he demands.
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).
“The Cask of Amontillado” is set during the “supreme madness” of Carnival. In such a riotous atmosphere, it is easy to see how a crime could go unnoticed.
The narrator is able to lure his victim into the catacombs with the promise of amontillado, a fine sherry wine.(The l’s are pronounced like thel’s in tortilla.)
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?
During the time period in which the story is set, 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.
as a significant contributor to the development of the short story as a literary genre.
SourcesCoil, Suzanne M. Mardi Gras (photos by Michael Osborne). New York: Macmillan, 1994. France: A Culinary Journey. San Francisco: Collins, 1992.Poe, Edgar A. “The Cask of Amontillado” Literature. Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ 1998. “Underground Paris: The Catacombs.” www.triggur.org.Presentation assembled by Brooke Allen:www.wcboe.k12.md.us/.../The%20Cask%20of%20Amontillado.ppt -