This close reading resource promotes thoughtful, critical analysis of “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, helping students focus on significant details to develop a deeper understanding of the text and contribute more meaningfully to class discussion. Featuring 10 multiple choice questions and 1 short answer question, this resource also includes an answer key.
By engaging in this exercise, students will…
- Analyze character motives and development
- Apply literary devices (foreshadowing and verbal irony)
- Define unfamiliar or challenging vocabulary terms in context.
- Determine the tone of a particular passage.
- Locate textual evidence in support of a claim
Questions pertain to the following:
- Discerning the narrator’s intended meaning: “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could.”
- Applying standard conventions of English writing: punctuating however.
- Defining unfamiliar or challenging vocabulary in context: impunity.
- Discerning meaning from what the text explicitly states: “It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.”
- Defining unfamiliar or challenging vocabulary in context: wont.
- Defining unfamiliar or challenging vocabulary in context: immolation.
- Applying literary devices: foreshadowing.
- Applying literary devices: verbal irony.
- Locating textual evidence in support of a claim: a statement reflecting verbal irony.
- Discerning meaning from what the text explicitly states: “A draft of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.”
- Drawing logical inferences: the protagonist demonstrates a desire to compromise his friend’s good judgement to facilitate his imminent demise.
This resource aligns well to Adolescent Literacy Project teaching principles. I recommend using these worksheets as the basis for small-group discussions, letting students discuss, debate, and support their reasoning for answer choices. In the role of facilitator, I observe my students becoming more consistently engaged with the novel and taking greater ownership of their learning.
In addition to helping students gain deeper understanding of the material and greater confidence in their ability to read harder texts, this resource was designed to prepare students for ACT-style questioning.