How does Poe develop a sense of suspense in “The Cask of Amontillado”?

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Poe creates suspense through the use of word choice, apt phrasing, verbal irony, and even setting. For example, the title of the story contains the word "Cask," which sounds a lot like the word casket, another word for a coffin. When Montresor and Fortunato discuss the amontillado Montresor claims to have purchased, they never call it a cask; rather, they refer to the quantity as a pipe of amontillado. This might compel us to wonder why the word cask is used in the title, a clue to Fortunato's deadly fate. One example of apt phrasing is Montresor's description of the nitre that encrusts the walls of the catacombs. He calls it "white web-work," comparing it, via metaphor, to a spider's web. Montresor is literally luring his enemy, Fortunato, into something that resembles a spider's web, making Montresor the deadly spider. This metaphor emphasizes his evil intentions and creates suspense about what horrors are to come.

Another metaphor that helps to create suspense is when Montresor describes...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1030 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 20, 2020
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 20, 2020
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 20, 2020
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