What would be a good thesis statement explaining how elements of setting made it the perfect murder in "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Venice makes the perfect setting for Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Cask of Amontillado" because it is the scene of the famous annual carnival of Venice. The streets are crowded and everyone is drunk. People are wearing disguises, so it is easy for Montresor to lure Fortunato to his palazzo without being recognized. The land under the palazzo is honeycombed with catacombs, so it is also easy for Montresor to perpetrate his revenge against Fortunato once he manages to get him down below in the quest for the nonexistent Amontillado. The chains attached to the granite wall have been there since the days when noblemen could dispose of rebellious subjects by leaving them to die without any possibility of their screams being heard up above. Since the catacombs are also used for storing wine, it is plausible to persuade Fortunato that the cask of Amontillado is to be found down there. Poe needed to set his story in a distant place and a distant time because a story set in contemporary America involving a perfect murder would probably not be accepted for publication.


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