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Word Count: 5,131
To be buried while alive is beyond question the most terrific of these extremes which has ever fallen to the lot of mere mortality That it has frequently very frequently so fallen will scarcely be denied by those who think The boundaries that divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague Who shall say where the one ends and where the other begins Edgar Allan Poe often uses the motif of premature or concealed burials in his literary works One such story is The Cask of Amontillado The story begins around dusk one evening during the carnival season similar to the Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans in an unnamed European city The location quickly changes from the lighthearted activities associated with such a festival to the damp dark catacombs under Montressors palazzo which helps to establish the sinister atmosphere of the story Although several characters are mentioned in this story the true focus lies upon Montresor the diabolical narrator of this tale of horror who pledges revenge upon Fortunato for an insult When the two meet during the carnival season there is a warm greeting with excessive shaking of hands which Montresor attributes to the fact that Fortunato had been drinking Montresor also appears to be happy to see Fortunato since he is planning to murder him Fortunatos clown or jesters costume appears to be appropriate not only for the carnival season but also for the fact that Montresor intends to make a fool out of him Poe writes this story from the perspective of Montresor who vows revenge against Fortunato in an effort to support his time-honored family motto Nemo me impune lacessit or No one assails me with impunity No one can attack me without being punished Poe does not intend for the reader to sympathize with Montresor because Fortunato has wronged him but rather to judge him Telling the story from Montresors point of
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