Edgar Allen Poe is well known for writing dark stories. His settings are dark and spooky and his themes are equally as dark and moody. The theme of the “Tell-Tale Heart” is the strong emotions of love and hate, and guilt. In the “Tell-Tale Heart” the narrator loves the old man and yet murders and dismembers him, and in the end is tortured by his overwhelming guilt. Poe uses the beating heart to symbolize the narrator’s overwhelming guilt: “Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed!—tear up the planks! here, here!—It is the beating of his hideous heart!” The theme of “Cask of Amontillado” is humiliation, revenge and deception. In the “Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor is humiliated by Fortunato’s insult that he supposedly caused him and is determined to carry out revenge for it. He deceives Fortunato by luring him to the catacombs which wasn’t too hard to do because “He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine” and “…for he had been drinking much.” Poe used the symbol of the carnival and masquerade to symbolize the deception of Montresor, “It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my in to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my to smile now was at the thought of his immolation.” People can hide who they are and their true intentions behind a friendly smile. The clown costume represented Fortunato’s as a fool. One major difference between the two stories is the narrator of “The Tell-Tale heart” felt remorse for killing the old man while Montresor did not, “My heart grew sick; it was the dampness of the catacombs that made it so.”
In most of Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories he represents many Gothic elements to invoke fear and create a sense of doom. The “Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” both have evil and mentally disturbed characters. Psychological madness is represented with both narrators of the stories as they have both committed...
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