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Although there is a profound similarity in the theme of death of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” there are still many profound differences in the other details…
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Download file to see previous pages... Specifically, the author employs horrific imagery of death and revenge in order to set the mood for the eventual murder of Fortunato. Poe uses dark words and images of death like “a mask of black silk” worn by Montresor and “the damp ground of the catacombs” that both men see as they descend to the vaults (Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado”). In fact, the phrase “mask of black silk” and the word “catacombs” do not only foreshadow Fortunato’s death but also somehow symbolize death itself. The “mask of black silk” in particular, which is likened to the mask of an executioner, somehow signifies beginning of the initiation rite. Another form of symbolic imagery employed by Poe includes the family coat of arms of the Montresors: “the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel” (Poe, “The Cask”). The purpose of this particular form of imagery is to show the reader that the theme of death is perfectly intertwined with the theme of revenge and punishment. On the other hand, in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” it was a disease that “had sharpened [the narrator’s] senses and that makes him “very, very dreadfully nervous” that has actually made him kill the old man. Moreover, the narrator seems to have admitted the murder and justifies it only on the basis of impulse. In short, unlike Montresor in “The Cask of Amontillado,” the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” does not hold a grudge against his victim although he kills him: “it was not the old man who vexed me, but his Evil Eye” (Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart”). This particular disease that somehow sharpens the narrator’s senses has somehow made him too nervous and too afraid of the old man’s Evil Eye and that is the reason why the narrator smothers the latter with a bed or a pillow until his death. He then chops off the old man’s head and limbs and hides them under the planks. Although ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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