The Cask of Amontillado

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The setting of the Cask of Amontillado takes place originally in Italy. Although the exact setting of the story is unclear until the author, Edgar Allen Poe takes the reader into the carnival. The carnival is symbolic of a time of cheer and freedom. Montresor, however, who has been deeply offended by fortunate and works methodically and with diligence to plot revenge, plots to take away Fortunato’s freedom, gets his opportunity when he comes upon a drunken Fortunato and lures him to his house where Fortunato will find his ultimate doom. With a plight to avenge his name, Montresor sets his plan into motion asking Forunato for his expertise in deciding the authenticity of a cask located in the catacombs of his home. What is so ironic is that fortunate is so completely unaware that he is being led to his doom that he is dressed as a jester, so it seems Montresor sees Fortunato as a fool because he has no idea what is to come. Poe provides many details about the catacombs beneath the Montresor estate and wine cellars to describe the very dark nature of what is to come.  Montresor often describes the catacombs, as he and Fortunato enter them.  For example, Montesor describes the vaults as being insufferably damp and infested with niter.  He repeatedly points out to Fortunato that the air is unhealthy.  He goes on to morbidly describe the skeletal remains of his family that died throughout the years. As the story continues, it appears Montesor is trying to get Fortuato drunk in an effort to weaken him further. “I drink … to the buried that repose around us,” states Montesor. As they continue their journey through the catacomb, Montresor and Fortunato move into smaller and smaller spaces suggesting that, as they travel farther away from fresh air, they are also moving further away from freedom. 

Fortunato is eventually trapped in a space that represents the opposite of freedom: he’s chained up and bricked inside a man-sized crypt with no air and no way out and...
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