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

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 153

Investigate the history of the Free and Accepted Masons, a group to which Fortunato apparently belongs. How were Masons perceived in the United States during the nineteenth century? Why might Poe have chosen to make Fortunato a member?

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What is nitre (also known as potassium nitrate or saltpeter)? How would it form on the walls of the catacombs? Why might it be harmful?

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Research the field of heraldry, the medieval system of assigning and describing symbols displayed on a shield to identify families. Learn enough of heraldry's special vocabulary to explain the conversation between Montresor and Fortunato on the subject of Montresor's "arms."

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Latest answer posted September 14, 2015, 2:13 pm (UTC)

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Learn what you can about European gentlemen's attire in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Fortunato has been enjoying the carnival, and is dressed in motley. Montresor wears a silk mask and a roquelaire. What does the men's clothing reveal about their station in life, or about their character?

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