The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe and The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale

The Cask of Amontillado, by Edgar Allan Poe and The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale

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Montresor in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” and the chambermaid in Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s “The Goose Girl” both personify the dark side of human nature. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor, the vile narrator, tells the story of how he ruthlessly murdered his victim, Fortunato, fifty years ago. In “The Goose Girl,” the treacherous chambermaid forces the princess to trade places with her in order to marry a prince from a distant land. Montresor uses manipulation to accomplish his revenge; unlike the chambermaid who primarily uses coercion and deception. Montresor was successful in committing the perfect revenge whereas the chambermaid was exposed and punished for her deception. Both stories use different methods to teach different lessons. It is through Montresor’s victim, Fortunato, whose weaknesses illustrate the dangers of addiction, pride, and insensitivity, whereas the chambermaid exemplifies the perils of deceitfulness. Even though Montresor and the chambermaid are distinct in many ways, both characters are opportunistic, deceitful, and sadistic in nature.
The first resemblance between the two characters is that they are both opportunistic. In Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” Montresor takes advantage of the fact that Fortunato is inebriated at the carnival. He uses this opportunity to lure Fortunato to his palazzo to carry out his devious plan. Montresor also knows that Fortunato is addicted to wine. He cunningly baits Fortunato by telling him he has some Amontillado and he also gets him even more drunk in route to the catacombs. Near the end of the story, Montresor states “I had scarcely laid the first tier of masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off” (...


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...W. Grimm 411) Both Montresor and the chambermaid were truly quite sinister in that they enjoyed making other people suffer.
In Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” Montresor is an exaggerated and quintessential character that embodies the sneaky, vengeful part of human beings. Whilst the chambermaid in the Brothers Grimm “The Goose Girl”, is a classic evil character common in fairy tale stories. Both characters are comparable in that they are opportunistic, deceitful, and sadistic; they are both good examples of unsympathetic characters. Whilst they are presented differently, they clearly teach lessons in the stories can apply to everyone, everywhere, and in all situations.



Works Cited

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. “The Goose-Girl.” Kinder- und Hausmärchen. 7th ed.D. L. Ashliman, trans. Berlin: n.p., 1857. Print.
Poe, Edgar Allan, “The Cask of Amontillado” p 236

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