Is It the Door Through Death What Scares Us? An Analysis of The Cask of Amontillado Between Semiotics and Narratology Interface


  • Orhun Büyükkarcı Mardin Artuklu University


semiotics, narratology, The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe, Greimas


Semiotics as a comprehensive branch seeks for meaning production process generated by the interrelations of signs, and therefore, may allow examining any discipline. One of those disciplines is literature. The significance of the present study is to draw attention to the analysis of formative structures of a narrative, using analysis tools of literary semiotics and narratology. Accordingly, examining both abstract and concrete fine details of a text, this study aims at investigating how the sense of horror was invoked by Edgar Allan Poe in one of his horror stories, “The Cask of Amontillado”. The methodology of the study, improved by French semiotician, Algirdas Julien Greimas, comprises the analysis of three semantic layers: the discursive, narrative and deep levels. Also, the tools of narratology have been utilized at the discursive level to examine the actors and time in the story, thereby making this an interdisciplinary study. In doing so, the pre-determined semiotic methodology has made it possible to obtain information both on the authorial techniques and the text itself. According to the findings gathered through a semio-narrative analysis, it can be suggested that transformations from beginning to the end of the story regarding characters, space and time have taken place from good to evil, life to death or bright to dark. This further highlights Edgar Allan Poe’s achievements in the creation of horror stories.


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How to Cite

Büyükkarcı, O. (2021). Is It the Door Through Death What Scares Us? An Analysis of The Cask of Amontillado Between Semiotics and Narratology Interface. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 9(16), 34–56. Retrieved from