Instant Download with all chapters and Answers
*you will get solution manuals in PDF in best viewable format after buy*
“THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO”
This marvelously macabre tale is Poe at his best and here the story is presented
with all its wonderful, original language. Poe, like Twain, is often presented to
middle- and high-school students in adaptation (the gist of the story framed in
watered-down vocabulary, dialogue, etc.). Here is the real thing for the students
to read and study. The story has been placed in Setting because students find this
very difficult reading largely due to confusion over the places and things in the
story. “Catacombs” is part of the context study for this reason. And students
often think Amontillado is a character, which is not altogether incorrect as the
wine takes on many player characteristics; an interesting essay test question is:
“How is the Amontillado like a character? If it were a character, would be it be
male or female? Explain your answer.” Students defending it as a male usually
explain that it is strong enough to overtake Fortunato. Students defending it as a
female usually explain that it seduces Fortunato. And students also have trouble
identifying the narrator and Montresor as one and the same. These troubles
notwithstanding, students can read through this, perhaps several times, and do
finally understand and thoroughly enjoy—albeit are outraged by—this wonderfully sinister tale.
Vocabulary. Words crucial to understanding the story are presented in Prereading Vocabulary—Context. However, all potentially troublesome words are
listed here in the order they appear in the text, so that (1) you can easily identify words you may wish to stress and (2) you can locate them easily in the text.
81. remains (n.)
Vocabulary – “THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO”
MLA Works Cited.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Cask of Amontillado.” Looking at Literature. Ed.
Yvonne Sisko. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006. 96–110.
Main Character(s). The narrator, the meticulously premeditated murderer, the
avenger—these are all Montresor. His name is revealed as he and Fortunato pass
Montresor’s family crest. Fortunato—the duped, the pride-filled, the victim—is
the other central character.
Supporting Characters. Luchesi is most significant; Montresor uses him to keep
luring Fortunato to his pre-appointed tomb. The revelers at the carnival, making
noise so Fortunato cannot be heard, and the missing servants, told by Montresor
to stay home while he is going out so of course they would go out, may be considered supporting also.
Setting. This tale is set in this chapter because place and prop are crucial to the
story. The student will need to understand the tunneling nature of the catacombs
to make sense of the story (all the bones tend to confuse the student) and to place
the murder. And the student will need to recognize that Amontillado, the lure, is
a wine; because there is often much confusion over this prop, I usually thoroughly discuss this with students once they have finished the journal but before
Sequence. Here is an informal outline, but answers will vary.
I. The insult.
A. Montresor feels Fortunato has insulted his family.
B. Montresor plans revenge on Fortunato.
II. The journey down.
A. Montresor tells his servants he is going out, so that they will go out.
B. Montresor meets Fortunato at the carnival in the piazza before his house.
C. Montresor invites Fortunato to sample a pipe of Amontillado.
D. Montresor and Fortunato descend through the catacombs under
Montresor’s home to find the wine.
E. Montresor keeps telling Fortunato they can go back and he will have
Luchesi test the wine. This keeps Fortunato going.
F. They pass Montresor’s family crest, and Montresor confirms that his
family are masons and reveals a trowel under his cloak.
III. The niche.
A. Fortunato enters to find the wine.
B. Montresor chains Fortunato.
C. Montresor then bricks in Fortunato, burying him alive.
D. Montresor is avenged and never blamed for the murder.
Plot. With a three-sentence limit, answers will vary.
A man avenges an insult to his family by burying the insulter alive.
Conflicts. Certainly this is human v. human as Montresor sets out to destroy
Fortunato. This is also human v. himself, as Fortunato’s prideful connoisseurship
leads him to his own destruction.
a. The student should discuss Montresor’s perception that Fortunato has
insulted his family; this sets all the events in motion.
b. The student should discuss Fortunato’s fatal pride; this pride leads him to
have to sample the Amontillado which leads him to his death.
c. The student should explain that Montresor uses the wine to lure Fortunato
to his prearranged tomb. Montresor also uses Luchesi as a lure, in that
Fortunato’s pride says he has to taste the wine, and not Luchesi, so
Fortunato keeps going on to find the Amontillado.
d. The student should explain that Montresor is carrying the murder
weapon—the trowel to brick in Fortunato. This is the point at which
Montresor has told Fortunato that his family are masons. Both points here
are classic examples of Poe’s foreshadowing.
e. The student should explain that Fortunato is now being buried alive by
Montresor, and that Fortunato dies, buried alive.
Foreshadowing. This section is added, if you have discussed foreshadowing and
want students to respond. Poe often drops all kinds of hints along the way that
we all seem to miss on the first reading of his stories and universally end up
shocked at the endings. Here, Montresor starts by telling us he is seeking
revenge. We start to see through his ruse as he keeps taunting Fortunato with
Luchesi. Then, Montresor openly tells us that his family are masons; his family
crest says, roughly, “No one can insult us”; and he carries a trowel under his
cloak, all the better for burying you, my dear. Poe offers all of these hints of
events to come along the way, and yet we all remember our first reading and our
astonishment at the live burial. Here, the student can look back and ponder the
story for the hints.
Follow-up Questions. 10 Short Questions
These are intended for objective assessment and focus on comprehension only,
purposely avoiding literary controversy.
1. b This is the motivation for the murder; Montresor feels Fortunato has
insulted his family and he seeks revenge.
2. a He is openly jovial and inviting to Fortunato.
3. a This is fundamental to the story and the reason Montresor can lure
Fortunato to his prearranged tomb. Many students confuse the wine with a
4. c The student must infer from Montresor’s home or palazzo—with its own
catacombs, crest, and wine cellar—that Montresor is quite wealthy and
does not work at manual labor.
5. a Fortunato does not want Luchesi to sample the wine and Montresor successfully uses this jealousy to keep Fortunato descending to the tomb.
6. c The words, “palazzo,” “catacombs,” etc. all imply Italy. Further, in the
third paragraph Montresor clearly describes both Fortunato and himself as
Italians “skillful in the Italian vintages.”
7. b This relates to vocabulary; if the student did the pre-reading work, they
will have defined “catacombs” and “crypt” as burial places. This location
identification is necessary in understanding the story.
8. b Again, the role of Luchesi is to tweak Fortunato’s pride and to lure him
9. a Most definitely, Montresor has planned well. He has arranged for the
servants to leave the house (by telling them they must stay while he will be
gone all evening), it is noisy carnival night, and he is carrying a trowel for
an obviously well-thought-out scheme.
10. c Again, Montresor has clearly stated that he is avenging his family after
Follow-up Questions. 5 Significant Quotations
These are highly focused and are intended for short answer subjective assessment of comprehension only, purposely avoiding literary controversy.
1. The student should explain that Montresor feels Fortunato has insulted his
family and sets out to kill him to seek revenge. This statement sets all the
plan in motion.
2. The student should discuss Fortunato’s pride and that this pride leads him
to his death.
3. This is the moment the lure starts. The student should explain that Fortunato
will now follow Montresor to find the wine, and to his death.
4. The student should explain that Montresor uses Luchesi as a lure to tweak
Fortunato’s pride so that he will keep going, ultimately to his tomb.
5. The student should explain that Montresor has buried Fortunato alive
(“Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones”), and that
Fortunato has died in an undiscovered grave while Montresor has never
been blamed for the murder (“For half a century no mortal has disturbed
Follow-up Questions. 2 Comprehension Essay Questions
These are highly focused and are intended for subjective assessment of comprehension only, purposely avoiding literary controversy or ancillary opinions.
Intended to draw upon all facets of the story, 1 and 2 may repeat and/or complement each other.
1. Asking the student to focus on this central prop, the student should discuss
the role of the wine as the lure to get Fortunato to his live burial.
2. This makes the student look at the characters carefully. Originally sympathetic to the wronged Montresor and unsympathetic to the arrogant
Fortunato, sympathies change as the reader becomes aware of Montresor’s
Unlike the Follow-up Questions which are intended to measure comprehension
only, thereby avoiding personal opinions and/or literary controversy, these questions are intended to elicit opinions and/or debate. Answers here are only suggestions as the literary discussion may take many forms.
1. This focuses the students on the events and the central characters in the
story. The illustration is a marvelous amalgamation of all the pieces in the
story and students respond with many insights.
2. Part of the genius of Poe is that he draws us into the insanity. One usually
identifies with the narrator as the protagonist, but as this story progresses
the arrogant Fortunato becomes more sympathetic and the murderous
Montresor becomes more odious. This leads to lively discussion.