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The Motive for Murder in "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe

Elena V. Baraban
Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature
Vol. 58, No. 2 (2004), pp. 47-62
DOI: 10.2307/1566552
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1566552
Page Count: 16
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The Motive for Murder in "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe
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Abstract

"The Cask of Amontillado" (1846) by Edgar Allan Poe depicts a man who makes his confession about an atrocious murder he committed in the past. A seeming absence of motive for this murder puzzles the reader and has intrigued critics, but a close reading of "The Cask of Amontillado" helps uncover the motive for Montresor's crime. An examination of onomastic and semantic characteristics of the text reveals that the characters' social status and their class affiliations lie at the heart of the conflict depicted in the story.

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