Professor Betty Peterson
English 101 Writing 1
April 1, 2013
Reincarnation or Revenge
Edgar Allan Poe’s tale Metzengerstein gives all the support of being a story about reincarnation or the believed superstition of metempsychosis. This is the belief that after a person dies the spirit is transformed through the afterlife to take form in another body of an animal or human. With the authors added introduction it becomes the main supporting factor. On closer inspection we see this is just an underlying factor to the real topic of the story which is revenge. The author includes supporting factors for this conclusion as I will show in the paragraphs to come.
The narrator gives insight into the family rivalry from the beginning stating “that fire and water might sooner mingle than a Berlifitzing clasp the hand of a Metzengerstein.” (Poe .2) This gives the readers an indication that the families have a huge distain for one another. The author then gives us more information about the two rivals and their differences. The “Castle Berlifitzing” looking at their next door neighbors at the “Chateau Metzengerstein” giving way to “irritable feelings of the less ancient and less wealthy Berlifitzing's.” (Poe .2) The rivals differed on lifestyles causing conflict also with “Count Berlifitzing” being “an infirm and doting old man, remarkable for nothing but an inordinate and inveterate personal antipathy to the family of his rival, and so passionate a love of horses, and of hunting.” (Poe .2) His rival “Baron Metzengerstein was, on the other hand not yet of age” and “the heir out- heroded Herod” with “shameful debaucheries, flagrant treacheries, unheard of atrocities” making him known as a “petty Caligula.” (Poe .3) The narrator goes on to tell us that the fourth day the Baron was in power “the stables of the Castle Berlifitzing were discovered to be on fire; and the neighborhood unanimously added the crime of the incendiary to the already frightful...