Edgar Allen Poe wrote two different short stories about simple murders in his lifetime. One was titled “The Cask of Amontillado” while another was named “The Tell-Tale Heart”. These two stories share very distinct similarities such as similar plot lines and literary styling. However, even with the similar plots in the two stories, they do both express two contrasting themes that are prevalent throughout the stories.
In both stories, the narrator is a man who is on a mission to murder somebody; in addition both involve the narrator expressing how his plan to murder has been premeditated and that it must be done. One main contrasting difference in the two stories is the reason expressed from the author for the murder. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor explained in the beginning of the story that Fortunato had insulted him thousands of times before and that he has now finally taking his revenge. However in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator does not seem to have a reason for revenge at all. The narrator, who isn’t named throughout the story, explains no reason why he must commit the murder, other than the fact that the man has a “vulture eye.” This seems to be more of a psychological murderer than Montresor, who at least seemed to have reason for his highly planned out murder.
As a result of the main plot difference in the two stories, with Montresor murdering for revenge, and the unnamed narrator murdering for a seemingly less appropriate reason, the themes also seem to be slightly different. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” the theme is about how revenge can take over someone so much that they become obsessed with murder and psychological disturbance. While on the other side in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the murderer doesn’t express that same thirst for murder as Montresor did towards Fortunato. Instead, the narrator end up feeling guilt for the murder, probably because he had no real reason for it other than his disliking of his “vulture eye”. The...
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