Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado

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“The Cask of Amontillado” (1846) is considered by some critics “the finest of all Poe’s tales of horror” (


3:1252) and it is a fine example of his later stories, which tend to feature greater compression of language than his earlier, more stylistically overwrought works such as “Ligeia” (1838) and “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839). Plot wise, it is a sparse tale, featuring as sole spectacle the first-person narrator’s retelling of his successful revenge, enacted against a fool (ironically) named Fortunato, fifty years before. Revenge came in the form of immurement for Fortunato, in the crypts (also used as a wine cellar) far below the narrator’s palazzo, while the former was drunk and ill. The narrator, a member of the once illustrious Montresor family,…

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Citation: Sucur, Slobodan. "The Cask of Amontillado". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 June 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16906, accessed 15 July 2024.]

16906 The Cask of Amontillado 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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