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Revenge,Insanity, Murder & Poe

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    Ending in death most foul, “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” feature revenge and a painstaking cruelty. Pushed to the point of insanity and retribution sought over trivialities, the narrators tell each story by their own personal account. The delivery of their confessions gives a chilling depth to the crimes they have committed and to the men themselves. Both men are motivated by their egos and their obsessions with their offenders. Prompted by their own delusions, each man seeks a violent vengeance against his opposition in the form of precise, premeditated homicide. Carefully, cautiously the Montresor plotted precisely how he would exact revenge upon Fortunato. Much time and great energy was devoted to this plan, selecting a time that would be best: during carnival when the town would be celebratory, his servants apt to run off and join the celebration, when the two could silently disappear without notice or question. No detail is forgotten; he allows for no deterrents. He follows through with such a confidence that never does he stumble or hesitate in carrying out his plan. The Montresor indicates that he had never given. To continue with this ploy, he even goes so far as to express false concern for Fortunato as they pass through the catacombs. Blaming the nitre and damp, the Montresor suggests that they turn back as not to compromise Fortunato’s ill health, though he has no intent of doing so. Never once until the very end did Fortunato have cause to suspect that there were any foul plans afoot. The narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” has taken the time to meticulously plot. He sneaks nightly into the old man’s room preparing until he is ready to carry out his plans. His discontent lies.

    . .us on deadly revenge. In each case, a retribution that is carried out in a cruel and callous fashion. The men fulfilling these actions are cold, calculating, and contemplative. They have painstakingly endeavored to seek retribution against what has plagued them: Fortunato and his insults to the Montresor and the old man’s piercing, chilling eye for the man from “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Driven to the point of madness by their own obsessions, they plot to murder their offenders. The tales are told each by the man who has indeed committed the crime. Each man’s insanity becomes more and more clear as they narrate confession; the Montresor with the unfailing ease with which he dictates his account and the man from “The Tell-Tale Heart” with his jagged and rough delivery. Their distinct mental instability calls into question to reliability of the report they give.

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