A Comparison of Two Murderers

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In the Edgar Allan Poe stories "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" the most prominent and important themes that are used are death, logic, and irony. The characters of the narrator and Montresor in these stories are both coldblooded murders that kill for selfish, and inane reasons who firmly believe that their actions are justified even though their rationalizations only make sense in their own minds. They both try to convince their audience that they are completely sane by giving their explanations about why they did what they did as well as their motives for killing their victims. In admitting how they murdered victims, who appear to be innocent to everyone besides them, they only succeed in proving their insanity. The narrator and Montresor are similar in that they both have impaired senses of judgment encouraged by perverse morals and are able to convince themselves that the horrible things that they do are justifiable.

The narrator murders the old man whom he is meant to be taking care of. He claims to have nothing against the old man and says that he loves him dearly. Regardless of this, he finds the man’s filmy, vulture-like eye to be disturbing and thinks this is a valid enough reason to kill him. Montresor feels that his colleague Fortunado has insulted him in some way and believes that it is now his duty to end his life. Both claim to not have anything against his victim other than one small detail, being either and eye or an insult, and feel that they are justified in wanting them dead. They both meticulously plan out what they are going to do to their victim long before they carry out their actions. Neither the old man nor Fortunado had any idea that their murderer had any reason to want them dead and...

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...e and do deserve to be punished for their actions, contrary to their beliefs. They believe that they have acceptable reasons for doing what they do even though the things that they do are morally inexcusable to everyone else. Neither one sees the doings as anything less than necessary and do not realize their accountabilities until sometime afterwards. While they do both ultimately admit their actions and do end up displaying some guilt afterwards they are still coldblooded killers with perverse morals and no grasp on actual reality that deserve what they get in the end.

Works Cited

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Cask of Amontillado." LIT. Ed. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen

R. Mandell. Boston; Wadsworth, 2012. 190-194. Print.

Poe, Edgar Allan. "The Tell-Tale Heart." LIT. Ed. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. Boston; Wadsworth, 2012. 331-333. Print.
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