Edgar Allen Poe's Short Stories

Topics: The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart Pages: 5 (1624 words) Published: December 5, 2013
Edgar Allen Poe

In Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories, The Cask of the Amontillado, Hop-Frog, and The Tell-Tale Heart, the themes of gruesome revenge, dark setting, and narrator as a witness come out. Throughout the stories Poe writes about some very dark plots with horrific revenge themes. All of them can be justified to a point, but more so they can be argued to be unjustified. In The Cask of the Amontillado, the main character is Montresor. He is also the narrator of the story. You learn that Montresor seeks revenged against an acquaintance of his, Fortunado. Why exactly Montresor wants revenged is never said. During a carnival Montresor speaks to Fortunado. He tells Fortunado that he has a cask of wine that might be Amontillado. Fortunado has a fondness for wine and cannot miss the opportunity to taste the Amontillado. Montresor and Fortunado then start towards Montresor’s catacombs, which is where he says the Amontillado is.

Once Montresor and Fortunado start descending into the catacombs, Fortunado starts to cough. The catacombs are full of nitre, which is why Fortunado begins to cough. Montresor offers to bring Fortunado back to the surface and to taste the Amontillado another time, but Fortunado insists that they press forward. Throughout their journey down the vaults, Montresor and Fortunado talk. They talk about Montresor’s family coat of arms and motto, Then Fortunado gives a secret hand gesture of the Free Masons. Montresor does not recognize it but says he is a Mason. Fortunado brushes it off and they continue down.

By the time Montresor and Fortunado get to the end, Fortunado is well intoxicated because whenever they passed a cask of wine Fortunado would have a drink. Montresor tells Fortunado that the cask of the Amontillado is in the recess of the wall. Fortunado walks to the back of the recess. When he gets all the way to the back Montresor chains Fortunado to the wall. Montresor then begins to brick in the recess. Fortunado starts to laugh because he thinks Montresor is playing a joke on him. Fortunado slowly becomes angry as he realizes Montresor is not joking. Montresor then puts the last brick in to finish the wall and repositions some bones in front of the wall. Montresor then says for fifty years the bones have still been undisturbed.

Revenge sticks out in the story, The Cask of the Amontillado. Montresor waited for the perfect time to get his revenge on Fortunado. He made his servants leave and go to the carnival just so he could kill Fortunado. We do not know why he wanted revenge, All Montresor hints at it is that he was insulted.

The setting of the story was really dark. Most of the story took place in Montresor’s family’s catacombs. The catacombs are really dark. The only light is from torches. The catacombs also go down into the ground really far. Another dark aspect of the setting in the catacombs was all of the dead ancestors of Montresor.

The final theme is the narrator. Montresor is the narrator of this story. He is telling the story looking back at it. At the end you learn that he killed Fortunado over fifty years earlier. You also get a hint from Montresor that he feels bad about killing Fortunado.

In Hop-Frog, the main character is Hop-Frog and the narrator is unknown. Hop-Frog and his friend Trippetta are both dwarves. They were captured by the King and were made to be his servants. Hop-Frog was made to be the King’s jester while Trippetta has to plan and decorate social events. She also has to dance for the King. The King and his ministers are very obese and like to play practical jokes. They especially like to make fun of and laugh at Hop-Frog.

The King tells Hop-Frog that he has to come up with the costumes and a practical joke for a masquerade coming up. He hesitates a little, so the King forces Hop-Frog to drink wine. Hop-Frog hates alcohol. Trippetta tries to stop them from forcing wine to Hop-Frog, but the King knocks her down and dumps wine on her face. This...
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