At what time did "The Cask of Amontillado" take place and why is this so appropriate to the plot? Please help me! Thanks.Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Although Poe does not directly mention the location of where the events take place throughout "The Cask of Amontillado," one can infer that the story takes place in Italy. Both Montresor and Fortunato live in a "palazzo" and attend a Mardi Gras-type carnival, which is a known event that happens in Italy and France. Also, Montresor mentions that he ordered a "pipe" of Amontillado, which is produced in Spain. A pipe is a large quantity of wine, specifically 126 gallons, which indicates that Montresor is more than likely living in a port city, because transporting a pipe of wine by land throughout Europe would be unlikely and difficult. These inferences indicate that the story may have taken place in Venice, Italy.
Poe also mentions that Montresor plots his revenge during the "supreme madness of the carnival season." This festive season is significant because it juxtaposes Montresor's plan to capture and harm Fortunato during a celebration of life, freedom, and joy. As the story progresses, Montresor leads Fortunato into his family's catacombs away from the rowdy streets of the carnival. The catacombs are a restrictive environment, which coalesces with Montresor's diabolical plan to bury Fortunato alive.
Poe never reveals exactly what year "The Cask of Amontillado" takes place. Since the story was first published in 1846, it could have been at about the same time period. We do know that most of the story takes place at night--the time which Montresor knows will be the least likely for anyone to witness his act of revenge. Since it is the carnival season, Montresor has told his servants that he will be out, knowing that the servants will also leave the premises. The late night setting adds to the mystery and helps to build the suspense as Montresor leads Fortunato deeper into the catacombs. It also adds a certain creepiness and foreboding to this tale of murder.