The Cask of Amontillado Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

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What do the jingling bells symbolize or represent in  the story "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe?

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In Edgar Allan Poe's famous short story "The Cask of Amontillado," Fortunato is dressed in "motley" in the costume of a clown for the carnival season. Fortunato wears a conical cap with bells on it when he meets Montresor in the streets. Poe juxtaposes Fortunato's conspicuous costume with Montresor's black mask and cloak. The jingling bells sharply contrast with Montresor's inconspicuous outfit and motives. As Montresor leads the unsuspecting Fortunato towards his death in the depths of the catacombs, the bells on Fortunato's cap continually jingle. The deeper Fortunato travels into the catacombs, the sound of the jingling bells can be heard at integral moments. Fortunato's bells ring as he walks unsteadily down the vaults, when he drinks a glass of Medoc, and most significantly when Montresor throws a torch into the last opening of the wall, where Fortunato is buried alive.

The bells symbolically represent the increasing tension, the passage of time, and Fortunato's impending death. The...

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