The Cask of Amontillado By: Edgar Allen Poe

Essay by mobyfreak1985College, UndergraduateA-, April 2004

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The Cask of Amontillado is about a man who at one time was insulted by his friend Fortunato. After running into a drunken Fortunato and commenting that he had a very rare and delicious wine, Amontillado, the narrator lured the inebriated man into his family vaults. Once the alcohol induced friend had been lured to the farthest end of the catacombs, he was shackled in and the wall to the family tomb was masoned in by the narrator. Of course there is more to the story because if Poe had chosen to not elaborate, it would cause for a very dull tale. The phrasing and choice of word's by Poe helped caulk together the parts into a solid story.

Poe uses key words in his stories to set the tone and setting of his works. To begin, he sets the scenery as a dusk setting with a carnival. The idea of dusk provokes a dark feeling as it is close to night.

Most horror stories take place at night as it is harder to see and creates the mood that something could be lurking in the shadows.

Carnivals have been around for centuries. During the period in which Poe wrote this tale, the carnival was in a grotesque time. Freak shows were beginning to establish and the public was beginning to see a more dark and sinister setting for their carnivals (Freak Shows, Carnivals, and Fairs: Roaming Entertainment of Antebellum America). The use of a carnival setting allowed the reader to envision a dark, macbre-like setting that would be the perfect lead into the dark, dank catacombs.

When Poe addressed the catacombs, he used choice words such as damp, dank, dark and cold, although he did not merely state these descriptions as "cold" or "dark". The elaboration's he chose helped...