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“The Cask of Amontillado” is one of the best-known Poe stories. All the characteristics of Poe’s fiction are there: an unusual and bizarre setting, a disturbed narrator, a lurid and therefore arresting antagonist, and an act of deliberate and depraved cruelty. According to Poe’s theory of the brief prose tale, it is clear that his main concern in “The Cask of Amontillado” is to hold the reader’s attention and emotions in a mood of both disbelief and amazement. Poe’s development of the weird character of Montresor and the ghoulish setting are to be judged as they contribute to the story’s impact. If readers silently protest that “this can’t be happening,” “the narrator is not going to wall in Fortunato alive, and leave him,” then Poe would have said that his story was a success as a brief prose tale.
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