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Dr. Angelique Medvesky
ENC 1102
28 March 2016
Humor and Horror Elements in The cask of Amontillado
The Cask of Amontillado is a very successful short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in
1846. This is a very ironic story about the revenge of the narrator against Fortunato, who had
hurt him. In this story, Poe showed his ability to use both humor and horror to create the setting
in The Cask of the Amontillado.
After being insulted and hurt by Fortunato so many times, Montresor found a way to kill
him, and Montresor set up a very simple trick by using Fortunatos addiction to wine. When the
narrator announced that he got the Amontillado, the alcoholic Fortunato repeated Amontillado
sentences 3 times, making his appearances become very amusing. Fortunato put himself to death
when trying to ask the narrator to take him to the vault instead of taking Luchresi. Before coming
to the vault, Fortunato wore a funny-looking dress called jesters outfit, which is the outfit of a
comedian. The jesters outfit contains little bells on its head, as described in the story, The bells
upon his cap jingled as he strode. (69).By doing this, Poe made the main antagonist Fortunato in
the story become a very amused character even though he is about to be killed by Montresor. As
they were strolling through the catacomb, Fortunatos cough got worse in the basement but he
insisted Montresor to go farther down. He said, "The cough's a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I
shall not die of a cough,"(85) and it was so true as if Fortunato predict how he will be killed.
Fortunato got drunk on the way down, and his action and gestures became more and more

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entertaining. After finishing the bottle of Medoc, His eyes flashed with a fierce light. He
laughed and threw the bottle upwards with a gesticulation.(107). This grotesque manner added
more humor to the end of the story.
Poe was very successful at using horror elements in this short story. Fortunato is being
killed after being allured to the catacomb and trying all of the good wines in Montresors vault.
Nothing is worse than enjoying the good stuff and getting buried alive in the tomb. The way
down to the vault contains a lot of scary structures that can give the reader goosebumps. The
vault was described as, lined with human remains, (139) and within it was exposed by the
displacing of the bones. (143). All of these terrifying imageries added on to the horror elements
of the death of Fortunato. The unfortunate Fortunato had no idea what will happen to him, so he
just laughed and enjoyed the good wine on his way down to the vault with his soon-to-be
murderer, Montresor. Finally, at the end of the story, Montresor waited and called out
"Fortunato!" (211) 3 times. Until he heard nothing from Fortunato, he put the last brick to the
By using both humor and horror to create the setting in The cask of Amontillado, Poe
successfully established the unique features of each character. It creates the ironic death of
Fortunato in a funny appearance and gestures, and the picture of the narrator from a quieter
gentleman to an angry man who had buried Fortunato.

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Works Cited
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Cask of Amontillado. New York, London: W.W. Norton &W. Norton.