Critics have argued three texts as possibly being the inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado." Honore de Balzac's "La Grande Breteche" is the most well-written of the three. It is a frame tale that seems peaceful at first where a doctor is wandering around a garden. A notary finds him and asks him not to trespass, and the mystery takes off from there. Ultimately, readers discover that there is a noble couple where the wife cheated and her lover is hiding in the closet. She tells him if he opens the door she will leave him. He says, as long as she swears there is no one there, he won't open the door. She swears. He gets a mason to brick up the door.
This unit has an introduction page with background on the author, and definitions for both frame tale and allegory (as some have supposed the story to be an allegory for the French Revolution). The (public domain) text of the story, eight discussion questions for the text of the story, and three discussion questions to be used if read in accordance with "The Cask of Amontillado."
This is one of my favorite short stories, and it is great to use in an honors English III, Pre-AP, or AP Literature class.