illustration of Fortunato standing in motley behind a mostly completed brick wall with a skull superimposed on the wall where his face should be

The Cask of Amontillado

by Edgar Allan Poe

Start Free Trial


Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on May 9, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 158

Burluck, Michael L. Grim Phantasms: Fear in Poe’s Short Fiction. New York: Garland, 1993.

Hoffman, Daniel. Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998.

Hutchisson, James M. Poe. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005.

Irwin, John T. The Mystery to a Solution: Poe, Borges, and the Analytical Detective Story. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

Kennedy, J. Gerald. A Historical Guide to Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

May, Charles E. Edgar Allan Poe: A Study of the Short Fiction. Boston: Twayne, 1991.

Peeples, Scott. Edgar Allan Poe Revisited. New York: Twayne, 1998.

Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.

Sova, Dawn B. Edgar Allan Poe, A to Z. New York: Facts On File, 2001.

Whalen, Terence. Edgar Allan Poe and the Masses: The Political Economy of Literature in Antebellum America. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999.

For Further Reference

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 361

Benton, Richard P. "Poe's 'The Cask' and the 'White Webwork with Gleams.'" Studies in Short Fiction 28 (Spring 1991): 183- 95. Benton focuses on Poe's fascination and use of the natural world in his stories, specifically the nitrous deposits in the caverns where Fortunato met his demise in "The Cask."

Carlson, Eric W. In Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 74: American Short-Story Writers before 1880. Edited by Bobby Ellen Kimbel and William E. Grant. Detroit: Gale, 1988, pp. 303-22. Carlson lauds Poe for his "pioneering contributions to the genre," including developing the traditional Gothic tale and expanding the boundaries of the modern short story.

Cervo, Nathan. "Poe's 'The Cask of Amontillado.'" The Explicator 51 (Spring 1993): 155-57. Cervo reads the line, "No one wounds me with impunity," as a theme of Poe's story.

Gruesser, John. "Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado.'" The Explicator 56 (Spring 1998): 129-31. Gruesser examines the debate over whether Montresor achieved perfect revenge against Fortunato.

Lawrence, D. H. "Edgar Allan Poe." In The Symbolic Meaning: The Uncollected Versions of 'Studies in Classic American Literature.' Centaur Press Limited, 1962, pp. 115-30. Originally written in 1919, Lawrence's essay studies Poe's depiction of love as a "destructive force in his short stories."

"The Cask of Amontillado." In Literature and Its Times: Profiles of 300 Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events That Influenced Them. Vol. 2. Edited by Joyce Moss and George Wilson. Detroit: Gale, 1997, pp. 81-86. An extensive overview of Poe's short story, including analyses of historical and social contexts.

Platizky, Roger. "Poe's The Cask of Amontillado.'" The Explicator 57 (Summer 1999): 206. This short critical essay focuses on Poe's obsession with living interment.

Stedman, Edmund Clarence. In Scribner's Monthly XX (May-October 1880): 107-24. A well-known nineteenth-century critic, Stedman compares Poe with Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. In The Academy VII (January 2, 1879): 1-2. Stevenson derides Poe's last works as lacking in humanity and the creative genius that made him famous.

Thompson, G. R. Essay on Poe in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 3: Antebellum Writers in New York and the South. Edited by Joel Myerson. Detroit: Gale, 1979, pp. 249-97. This essay examines the importance of Poe in both American and European literary traditions, and explores critics' arguments over the intrinsic merit of Poe's writings.

Bibliography and Further Reading

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on June 2, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 501


Benton, Richard P. ‘‘Poe's 'The Cask of Amontillado': Its Cultural and Historical Backgrounds,’’ in Poe Studies,, Vol. 29, No. 1, June 1, 1996, pp. 19-21.

Bittner, William. Poe: A Biography, Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1962, p. 218.

Buranelli, Vincent. Edgar Allan Poe, Boston: Twayne, 1977.

Colton, George. Review of ‘‘Poe's Tales,’’ in American Whig Review, Vol. 2, September, 1845, pp. 306-309.

Dana, Charles A. Review of Tales, in Brook Farm Harbinger , Vol. 1, July...

(This entire section contains 501 words.)

See This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this study guide. You'll also get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

12, 1845, p. 74.

Edinburgh Review, Vol. 107, April, 1858, pp. 419-42.

Griswold, Rufus Wilmot. Obituary in New York Tribune, Vol. 9, October 9, 1849, p. 2. Reprinted in Carlson, Eric W., The Recognition of Edgar Allan Poe, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1966, pp. 28-35.

Gruesser, John. ‘‘Poe's 'The Cask of Amontillado,'’’ in The Explicator, Vol. 56, No. 3, 1998, p. 130.

Harris, Kathryn Montgomery. ‘‘Ironic Revenge in Poe's 'The Cask of Amontillado,'’’ in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 6, 1969, pp. 333-335.

Hoffman, Daniel. Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1972, pp. 221, 224.

Knapp, Bettina L. Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Frederick Ungar, 1984, pp. 152- 155, 180.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Review of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales, originally published in Godey's Lady's Book, 1847. Reprinted in The Portable Poe, edited by Philip Van Doren Stern, New York: Penguin, 1977, pp. 565-567.

Randall, John H., III. ‘‘Poe's 'The Cask of Amontillado' and the Code of the Duello,’’ in Studia Germanica Gandensia, Vol. 5, 1963, pp. 175-84.

Rocks, James E. ‘‘Conflict and Motive in 'The Cask of Amontillado,'’’ in Poe Newsletter, Vol. 5, December 1972, pp. 50-51.

Further Reading

Botting, Fred. Gothic, New York: Routledge, 1996.

A clear and accessible introduction to Gothic images and texts in their historical and cultural contexts. Includes a chapter on twentieth-century Gothic books and films.

Buranelli, Vincent. Edgar Allan Poe, Boston: Twayne, 1977.

An overview of the life and work for the general reader, which includes a chronology, a helpful index, and a no-longer-current bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

Carlson, Eric W., ed. The Recognition of Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Criticism Since 1829, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1966.

A collection of reviews and commentaries, especially interesting for the remarks by those Poe influenced, including the French poet Charles Baudelaire, Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevski, and British and American writers including Walt Whitman William Butler Yeats and T.S. Eliot.

Howarth, William L., ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Poe's Tales: A Collection of Critical Essays, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1971.

The articles in this collection are generally insightful and accessible to the general reader.

Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.

At over eight hundred pages, this scholarly work is the definitive and insightful, though difficult-to-read, biography.

Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Neverending Remembrance, New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

A psychological approach to Poe's life, focuses on the writer's unresolved mourning as the source of his troubles. Excellent for its description of the literary life of the nineteenth century.

Walsh, John Evangelist. Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1998.

A factual, not a conjecturing, account of what is known and not known about Poe's last days.

Media Adaptations

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on June 1, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 208

The audio cassette collection The Best of Edgar Allan Poe(1987), read by Edward Blake, includes "The Cask of Amontillado'' and thirteen other stories and poems. The set is published by Listening Library. A radio play version of the story, originally broadcast on the NBC University Theater, is available on the audiocassette Nosology; The Cask of Amontillado; The Fall of the House of Usher (1991), part of the Golden Age of Radio Thrillers series issued by Metacom. Other audio presentations include "The Cask of Amontillado’’ (1987) in the Edgar Allan Poe collection by Westlake House; An Hour with Edgar Allan Poe (1979), from Times Cassettes; and Basil Rathbone Reads Edgar Allan Poe, a record album issued in 1960 by Caedmon.

The story has also been captured many times on film and videotape. Videotapes include The Cask of Amontillado (1991) from Films for the Humanities; The Cask of Amontillado (1982) from AIMS Media; Tales of Edgar Allan Poe (1987) from Troll; and a three-tape set that includes six stories by six authors, Classic Literary Stories (1987) from Hollywood Select Video. Film versions include a 16mm film from BFA Educational Media that is accompanied by a teacher's guide; another 16mm film from Films Incorporated, 1975; and a 35mm film from Brunswick Productions (1967) that analyzes and presents excerpts from the story.


Historical and Social Context