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What does "puncheons" mean in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

Question:

What does "puncheons" mean in "The Cask of Amontillado"?

"The Cask of Amontillado":

The title "The Cask of Amontillado" is referring to a barrel of wine. The narrator, Montresor, uses the wine to lure his "friend" Fortunato into the catacombs so that he can murder him. Other types of wine mentioned in the story include Medoc and De Grave.

Answer and Explanation:

In "The Cask of Amontillado," the word "puncheons" refers to large casks, which normally hold about 80 gallons of a liquid, often wine. Edgar Allan Poe, the author of the story, used the word in this context: "We had passed through long walls of piled skeletons, with casks and puncheons intermingling, into the inmost recesses of the catacombs." The phrase "casks and puncheons" is a hint that both terms refer to containers for great quantities of wine.


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The Cask of Amontillado Vocabulary
The Cask of Amontillado Vocabulary

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Chapter 3 / Lesson 5
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When reading stories from the past, sometimes we can get bogged down in archaic vocabulary. In this lesson, we will learn and review important vocabulary words from the short story, ''The Cask of Amontillado'' by Edgar Allan Poe, to help us understand the plot and capture the imagery presented.


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