The cask of amontillado background v2


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Cask of Amontillado prereading background story introduction

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  • The cask of amontillado background v2

    1. 1. The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe Background
    2. 2. “…but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” “The Cask of Amontillado” is the narrator’s account of his ability to carry out a chilling plot of revenge against his offender.
    3. 3. Plot The plot is quite simple. The first-person narrator, whom we later discover to be named Montresor, announces immediately that someone named Fortunato has injured him repeatedly and has recently insulted him. Montresor can stand no more; he vows revenge upon Fortunato. The remainder of the story deals with Montresor's methods of entrapping Fortunato and effecting his revenge upon the unfortunate Fortunato. Foremost is the fact that Montresor has never let Fortunato know of his hatred.
    4. 4. Setting The story begins around dusk, one evening during the carnival season (similar to the Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans) in an unnamed European city. The location quickly changes from the lighthearted activites associated with such a festival to the damp, dark catacombs under Montressor's palazzo which helps to establish the sinister atmosphere of the story.
    5. 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. 6. CARNIVAL • Traditionally, the fasting during Lent involves abstaining from eating meat. • Modern interpretations of fasting may involve abstaining from anything one enjoys.
    7. 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. 8. What happens during Carnival? • Carnival is a time of EXCESS and INDULGENCE. • BINGEING upon food and alcohol is common.
    9. 9. Partying in the streets and masquerading are enjoyed.
    10. 10. Carnival Season in Venice
    11. 11. “…his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells.”
    12. 12. “He had on a tight-fitting partistriped dress”
    13. 13. The combination of alcohol and costumes creates an atmosphere where people tend to let down their inhibitions.
    14. 14. European Carnival traditions survive in the United States in the form of Mardi Gras.
    15. 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. 16. Lifestyles of the Rich Circa 1700-1800
    17. 17. The wealthy class enjoyed indulgences such as • Gemmary
    18. 18. Painting
    19. 19. Palazzos (mansions) •
    20. 20. P alazzo a large, imposing building (as a museum or place of residence) esp. in Italy –
    21. 21. Fine Wine (vintages)
    22. 22. Vineyards, where the grapes for producing wine are grown, create picturesque settings for owners’ estates.
    23. 23. Cask – a wooden container for wine
    24. 24. The narrator plans for his revenge to take place in the catacombs beneath his estate. What are catacombs?
    25. 25. Catacombs: Cities of the Dead
    26. 26. At a certain point in European history, catacombs, underground burial chambers, became a viable alternative to cemeteries.
    27. 27. Catacombs are characterized by extensive tunnels leading to chambers or recesses where the dead repose for eternity.
    28. 28. The wealthy could opt for family catacombs beneath their estates.
    29. 29. The narrator of “The Cask of Amontillado” carries out his revenge within the catacombs beneath his palazzo.
    30. 30. The narrator is able to lure his victim into the catacombs with the promise of amontillado, a fine sherry wine. (The l’s are pronounced like the l’s in tortilla.)
    31. 31. The “supreme madness” of Carnival aside, why doesn’t the suggestion of a journey to the catacombs for a taste of wine seem odd or suspicious to the victim?
    32. 32. The Storage of Wine
    33. 33. For wines to maintain their best quality, they need to be stored at fairly cool and constant temperatures.
    34. 34. 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.
    35. 35. Basements, cellars, and even catacombs serve as excellent storage facilities for the precious vintages.
    36. 36. Herein, where wine bottles intermingle with the bones of the dead, the narrator carries out his plan for revenge.
    37. 37. Nitre is a potassium nitrate salt formerly known as saltpeter. Saltpeter is composed of the names “Sal” or salt, and “Petrae” or rock. Literally, salt of the rock. “…but observe the white webwork which gleams from the these cavern walls.” an ancient vault or catacomb
    38. 38. Nitre encrusted on an ancient jar
    39. 39. Flagon or vase of De Grave, type of wine Trowel hand tool used by brick masons
    40. 40. MASONS Two definitions: A member of the fraternity of Freemasons, a worldwide fraternal organization OR Symbol for the Freemasons One whose occupation is to build with stone or brick; also, one who prepares stone for building purposes.
    41. 41. THE FAMILY ARMS “A huge foot d’or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heal.” FAMILY MOTTO “ Nemo me impune lacessit ” Translation: “No one provokes me with impunity” /A more colloquial translation into English would be “No one attacks me and gets away with it.”
    42. 42. 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.