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The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

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Title: The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe


1
The Cask of Amontilladoby Edgar Allan Poe
  • Cultural Literacy
  • and
  • Background for Understanding
  • (Presentation assembled by Brooke Allen)

2
but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed
revenge.The Cask of Amontillado is the
narrators account of his ability to carry out a
chilling plot of revenge against his offender.
3
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.
4
Carnival
5
Carnival
  • Carnival is a secular holiday, but it evolved
    from the Christian observance known as Lent.
  • Lent is a solemn forty-day period of fasting
    prior to Easter.

6
CARNIVAL
  • Traditionally, the fasting during Lent involves
    abstaining from eating meat.
  • Modern interpretations of fasting may involve
    abstaining from anything one enjoys.

7
Carn Val
  • 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).

8
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9
What happens during Carnival?
  • Carnival is a time of EXCESS and INDULGENCE.
  • BINGEING upon food and alcohol is common.

10
Partying in the streets and masquerading are
enjoyed.
11
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12
The combination of alcohol and costumes creates
an atmosphere where people tend to let down their
inhibitions.
13
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14
European Carnival traditions survive in the
United States in the form of Mardi Gras.
15
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.
16
Lifestyles of the Rich
  • Circa 1700-1800

17
The wealthy class enjoyed indulgences such as
  • Gemmary

18
Painting
19
Palazzos (mansions)

20
Fine Wine (vintages)
21
Vineyards, where the grapes for producing wine
are grown, create picturesque settings for
owners estates.
22
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23
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24
The narrator plans for his revenge to take place
in the catacombs beneath his estate.What are
catacombs?
25
Catacombs Cities of the Dead
26
At a certain point in European history,
catacombs, underground burial chambers, became a
viable alternative to cemeteries.
27
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28
Catacombs are characterized by extensive tunnels
leading to chambers or recesses where the dead
repose for eternity.
29
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30
The wealthy could opt for family catacombs
beneath their estates.
31
The narrator of The Cask of Amontillado carries
out his revenge within the catacombs beneath his
palazzo.
32
The narrator is able to lure his victim into the
catacombs with the promise of amontillado, a fine
sherry wine.(The ls are pronounced like thels
in tortilla.)
33
The supreme madness of Carnival aside, why
doesnt the suggestion of a journey to the
catacombs for a taste of wine seem odd or
suspicious to the victim?
34
The Storage of Wine
35
For wines to maintain their best quality, they
need to be stored at fairly cool and constant
temperatures.
36
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37
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.
38
Basements, cellars, and even catacombs serve as
excellent storage facilities for the precious
vintages.
39
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40
Herein, where wine bottles intermingle with the
bones of the dead, the narrator carries out his
plan for revenge.
41
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42
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43
Edgar Allan Poe
  • Author, not the narrator, of the story.
  • Developed characters whose sanity is
    questionable.
  • Universally credited
  • as a significant contributor to the
    development of the short story as a literary
    genre.

44
The Cask of AmontilladoENJOY THIS LITERARY
JOURNEY INTO THE DARK SIDE OF REVENGE!
45

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.
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