Cask of Amontillado

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Edgar Allan Poe has written countless popular horror stories and poems that have fascinated readers with strange and eerie ideas. "The Cask of Amontillado," by Edgar Allan Poe is a classic Horror story set in Italy in the 1900s. It is a story about a man, Montresor, who buries his friend, Fortunato, alive in the catacombs underneath his home, as told by the murderer. "The Cask of Amontillado" is a well-known story that has been used in television, film, music, and video games.

According to David S. Reynolds, "It has long been surmised that this story of murderous revenge reflects Poe's vindictive hatred of Two prominent New York literary figures…Thomas Dunn English and…Hiram Fuller" (93). Reynolds references the story as possibly being some sort of a "retaliatory document" towards the two literary figures, and states that it "may have motivated the revenge theme" (93). Reynolds also states that the true story of "A Man Built in a Wall," by Joel Tyler Headly, was the foundation for "The Cask of Amontillado." According to Reynolds, "Headly reports having visited an Italian church containing a niche in which was discovered the skeleton of a man who had been buried alive by a workman under the direction of the man's smirking archenemy" (94). All of the elements of "The Cask of Amontillado" are found in Headly's story of "A Man Built in a Wall."

Edgar Allan Poe is widely considered to be a master of the art of the genre of horror fiction (Wikipedia, par. 5). "The Cask of Amontillado" incorporates that genre, as it strikes horrors into readers with the idea of being buried alive. For the murderer to be so cold-blooded while doing the deed is something quite disturbing as well. The way Montresor plotted his revenge on Fortunato and pretty much played games with and humored Fortunato along the way with exchanges such as when Fortunato said "I shall not die of cough," and Montresor replied with "True—true," was very suspenseful, as it was obvious Montresor was going...
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