‘The Cask of Amontillado’ and ‘The Tell-tale Heart’ by Edgar Allan Poe
Punishment is not for revenge, but to lessen crime and reform the criminal. By these words, Elizabeth Fly means the fact of imposing punishment is a significant manifestation of his punitive influence. Appointment of punishment in some cases the pain has a significant effect on the convicted than its execution, for example, a fine. It is the appointment of a punishment that gives the convict certain moral suffering, shame and shame that is an integral part of the practice of punishment, for a long time leaves traces in his mind and contributes to the fact that he realized that he redeemed his guilt towards society. While there are similarities in “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-tale Heart” were both written by Edgar Allan Poe, there are glaring differences between them.
Although both stories are set in different places, they reflect a Gothic setting. There are two physical settings in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”. The first one is an old house occupied by the narrator and an old man. The time of the events in the story is probably the early 1840’s when Poe wrote the story. The action in the narrator’s story takes place over eight days. The second is the location from which the narrator tells his story, presumably a prison or asylum for the criminally insane. In the story “The Cask of Amontillado” place is an underground catacomb, somewhere in Italy, during the carnival season. The setting in the story is a Gothic science fiction that has a special purpose: to withstand freedom or imprisonment or to offer freedom or imprisonment.
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The stories involve two major characters – the narrator and victim, with their relationships to each other, state of minds and motives for killing. The most important character in the story “The Tell-Tale Heart” is the “mad man”. He only thinks about is how he could kill the man with the evil eye because it scares him so much. He says to the readers that he is not mad, but in the story, it is very clear that he is. He cannot stand the tension and at the end of the story, he kills the man and cut the body. But he could still hear the heart of the dead man and this shows that he is going mad after what he has done. The victim in this story is the Old Man. He has blue eyes, one of which is cloudy (probably due to cataracts) and their odd appearance makes the narrator think he possesses some sort of evil intent. He is frail, sleeps a lot and deeply. The Old Man is probably completely unaware of the narrator’s burgeoning hatred. The main characters of “The Cask of Amontillado” are Montresor and Fortunato. Montresor is the narrator, he is a poor nobleman who insulted and mocked Fortunato. He consumed by revenge, sinister, cold and precise killer who gets joy out of killing and feels it is necessary. Montresor is unsympathetic, maniacal, an unreliable narrator and a victimizer. Fortunato is a victim, he is the drunk, addicted to wine, insensitive, prideful and greedy, to trust.
Both stories have themes. In the story “The Tell-Tale Heart” themes are fear and guilt, deceptive appearances, love, and hate. The theme “fear and guilt” means the murderer was afraid of being caught, and with that fright came guilt. He was discovered because of his fear. Another theme is “deceptive appearances” though the old mam’s eye was ugly, the ugliness of the thoughts of the murderer was worse. Also in s story uses the theme “love and hate”. The narrator confesses a love for an old man whom he then violently murders and dismembers. The narrator proves his madness by attempting to separate the person of the old man, whom he loves, from the old man’s supposedly evil eye, which triggers the narrator’s hatred. This delusional separation enables the narrator to stay unaware of the paradox of claiming to have loved his victim. In the story “The Cask of Amontillado” the author uses another theme – revenge, pride. Revenge appears in the fact that Montresor wants to take revenge on Fortunato for an unknown crime. Since “insult” is never revealed, revenge in this story takes on the form of hatred. Fortunato’s pride in his knowledge of wine ends up getting him killed. He is so proud of how well he knows wine, even his cough and drunkenness do not make him want to leave the catacombs.
Punishment is not for revenge, but to lessen crime and reform the criminal. Edgar Allan Poe in stories “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-tale Heart”, very well and clearly describes revenge and what it prevents. In both stories, the main characters seek revenge and carry out the planned killing of their victims. The sitting in the stories manifested with the Gothic elements is manifested in a black old house, dark catacombs with narrow passages far from living people. In both stories, the main characters are the narrator or killer and victim, with their relationships to each other, state of minds and motives for killing. The author in his stories uses the themes – fear and guilt, deceptive appearances, love and hate, revenge, pride. It is the appointment of a punishment that gives the convict certain moral suffering, shame and shame that is an integral part of the practice of punishment, for a long time leaves traces in his mind and contributes to the fact that he realized that he redeemed his guilt towards society.