The horror in the story of "The Cask of Amontillado
" is that a man announces his intentions to take cold-blooded revenge--thorough
cold-blooded revenge--against another man who believes in their sincere friendship and who has no knowledge of having offended. The horror is doubled because the man seeking revenge has planned and plotted with longsuffering patience to conceive of and execute a revenge that leaves him free of impunity before the law while making his punishing revenge fully felt by the other. This is the fundamental horror
of the story. Three of the settings
, for there are four settings, add to the atmosphere
of horror built into the story: (1) the unidentified opening setting where he is telling the secret of his fifty-year-old tale to, presumably, a family relation--perhaps his heir--who seemingly has some vested interest in knowing; (2) the second setting of the festival; (3) the third setting of the catacombs; (4) the fourth setting of the niche destination at the "most...
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