What is the plot of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The Cask of Amontillado"?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Edgar Allan Poe's short story masterpiece, "The Cask of Amontillado," takes place at an undetermined locale and date; an educated guess would place the setting as somewhere in Italy in the late 18th century. Montresor (presumably a Frenchman), has been the subject of "a thousand injuries"--and more recently, insults--by an acquaintance, Fortunato, and Montresor has vowed revenge. In doing so, Montresor's act must not be detected and Fortunato must be aware that Montresor is his punisher. Taking great precautions not to have witnesses around, Montresor lures Fortunato into his family catacombs, which doubles as a wine cellar, under the pretense that a rare bottle of Spanish sherry, Amontillado, awaits. Knowing that Fortunato cannot resist the temptation of sampling such a vintage, Montresor leads him deeper and deeper into the catacombs. Reaching a far recess, Montresor suddenly produces a chain and fetters Fortunato to the floor. Using a trowel and mortar, Montresor then builds a wall, sealing the stunned Fortunato within, and he leaves him to die among the bones of the crypt. Montresor, the narrator, ends the story by telling the reader that Fortunato's bones have been undisturbed for a half century. Montresor has committed the perfect crime.

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The Cask of Amontillado

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