Gothic Literature

Gothic Literature

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  • Setting & Atmosphere
  • A Gothic Protagonist
  • Emotions Run High
  • A gothic setting element in The Cask Of Amontillado is a secret room. The secret room is the grave that Montresor makes for Fortunato. Poe wrote, "Within the wall thus exposed by the displaying of the bones, we perceived a still interior crypt or recess... for no especial use..." (Poe 1)
  • Foreboding
  • The gothic protagonist element in the story is a character who is emotionally isolated from the people around them. This character is Montresor because he was jealous of Fortunato's popularity. "You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy as I once was." (Poe 3)
  • There is some sort of... decay
  • Another gothic element used in the story that shows emotions running high is a strong willed character. Montresor is willing to do whatever is necessary to get his revenge on Fortunato with impunity. "At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled-but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk." (Poe 1)
  • The Supernatural
  • An example of foreboding used in the story is an ancient curse. Montresor's coat of arms is symbolic and foreshadows Fortunato's fate. The coat of arms shows, "A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushed a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel."(Poe 4)
  • Individual decay is a gothic element exemplified in The Cask of Amontillado. Fortunato was once a proud, wealthy man admired by many, but he was manipulated and killed by his former friend. "It was succeeded by a sad voice, which I had difficulty recognizing as that of the noble Fortunato." (Poe 6)                                                              
  • An example of a supernatural gothic element is an unexplained manifestation. It is known that Fortunato is dead and Montresor has gotten away with imputiny when he says his bones were never touched. "For half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!" (Poe 7)
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