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cask amontillado
Agreed!

Explain how Edgar Allen Poe did or did not follow his own guidelines in Cask of Amontillado.

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This question can be answered with both ideas in mind, but I tend to see Poe following his guidelines more than not.  First, Poe was well known for incorporating many elements of Gothicism in his works, thus being known as the master of Gothic tales.  Some characteristics true to Gothic tales are the mystery, violence, and supernatural horror presented primarily in  medieval castles. The Cask of Amontillado presents many of these characteristics. For example, the setting takes place in the "palazzo" of the Montresors. The palazzo itself fits the Gothic element because it is a palace with many rooms, one of which in the story is the catacombs. The description Poe uses as Montresor and Fortunato are descending to the catacombs is also characteristic of Gothic writing.  Images such as "long, winding staircase," "dark and damp passageway," and "piles of bones," coupled with words such as "dripping moisture," "growing moss," and "flickering torches" all add to the drama of horror and suspense, which in turn leads to the violence of chaining Fortunato to the catacomb walls.

The arguable point of Poe straying from the Gothic elements is derived from the lack of supernatural happenings.  Albeit the short story is bizarre, it is believable. Every element that Poe uses can be considered "real life" as well as not giving Montresor superhuman powers.  His trickery instead lies within his clever witticism. Therefore, Poe's story is considered a true Gothic tale.

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