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Diction and Syntax in The Cask of Amontillado

            Most of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories are aggressive, dark, bizarre, and written in a incentive style. In The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor, a wine merchant, who tells the story, has acquired a cask of amontillado. Scheming, he had asked Fortunato, whom he has been annoyed with for his slights and insults for a long time, to advise him in the tasting. In order to carry out his plan of revenge, he must lure Fortunato into the vault. He pesters Fortunato until he follows him into the saltpeter wine basement. In this short story, The Cask of Amontillado, Poe used vivid diction and unorthodox syntax to give this story a mystifying character. The syntax of the short story can be seen as complicated and wordy. For instance, Montresor says, "How remarkably well you are looking today," when instead he could say, "You look good," or, "you look well." Here the author is using an elevated and polite word choice. Also, some of the sentences seem to be reversed or reworded. Even though the sentences are difficultly structured at some points, and it is exhausting to following the text, the reader is always able to imagine the scenario as a picture. The author also uses predominantly dashes, mainly because the story is mostly a dialogue. He uses two dashes in a row to give a sentence a break and to add more emphasis to the context. A few times, he combines two dashes, a semicolon, and a comma in the same couple of sentences to break and connect everything. A good example of this can be found in lines 3 and 11. "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.", and "In this respect I did not differ from him materially; --I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.".
             His choice of diction is very old fashioned, which makes the story harder to follow for me.

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